Pat Duggins

News Director

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.  If his name or voice are familiar, it could be his twenty five years covering the U.S. space program on NPR.  Pat’s NASA experience began with the explosion of Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, and includes 103 missions.  Many NPR listeners recall Pat’s commentary during Weekend Edition Saturday on February 1, 2003 when Shuttle Columbia broke apart and burned up during re-entry.  His expertise was utilized during three hours of live and unscripted coverage with NPR’s Scott Simon.  Pat later wrote two books about NASA, Final Countdown: NASA and the End of the Space Shuttle Program and Trailblazing Mars, both of which have been released as audio books.  Pat has also lectured about the future of the space program at Harvard, and writes about international space efforts for "Modern Weekly" magazine in Shanghai, China.

Duggins experience goes beyond NASA.  He led the APR news team through the tornadoes of 2011.  Along with dawn to dusk rescue and recovery updates, the news crew also provided national and international coverage for the BBC in London, MSNBC, CBC in Canada, and Australia Broadcasting in Sydney and Melbourne.  Duggins’ efforts, and that of the APR news team, were twice recognized with National Sigma Delta Chi awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. The Radio Television Digital News Association also honored Pat and the team with a national Edward R. Murrow Award for overall excellence. The Alabama Associated Press also recognized APR as the "Most Outstanding News Organization" in 2011 and 2012. And, Duggins' news series on the long-term impact of the Gulf oil spill won a national PRNDI award for best series from the Public Radio News Directors' Association, and a regional Murrow. 

Pat’s work isn’t limited to radio, with regular appearances on TV.  He also conducts interview/profile segments for "Alabama, Inc." a new University of Alabama TV series on business on airs statewide on Alabama Public Television. Pat also co-hosted “Your Vote Counts,” a program featuring college-age voters who critiqued the final debate between Robert Bentley and Ron Sparks in the 2011 race for Alabama Governor. 

Since his arrival at APR, Pat and the team have won more than forty awards for excellence in journalism, including a second national Sigma Delta Chi award and the national Gabriel award. Duggins is also the recipient of a Suncoast Regional Emmy.

Pages

Arts & Life
2:54 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

Rare Summertime "cold" front

APR

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A cold front pushed temperatures across Alabama well below normal Saturday morning.

Al.com reports that the National Weather Service recorded record lows across the state: Montgomery tied a record from 1882 with 64 degrees; Huntsville's 57 degrees tied a record from 1915; 64 degrees in Mobile broke a 1924 record; Birmingham set a record with 58 degrees; and Tuscaloosa set a record with 60 degrees.

Politics & Government
8:25 am
Sat July 5, 2014

State Lawmen break up modern day Moonshine operation

ASHLAND, Ala. (AP) — State authorities have found a 20-barrel moonshine still near Ashland and plan to arrest the alleged operator. AL.com reports that Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board agents discovered the still Friday after getting a tip from local residents about a possible marijuana field in the area off Jericho Road in Clay County. Agents found the still, along with 16.5 gallons of moonshine, in a utility shed along a dirt road off Jericho Road. They said they also encountered the suspected operator on the property.

Science & Health
8:21 am
Sat July 5, 2014

More jobs at Decatur Chemical Plant

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — A north Alabama chemical facility is getting an $11.2 million upgrade as part of plans for expanded operations. A top official at the 3M Co.'s facility on State Docks Road in Decatur told the Decatur Daily that the facility is on track to begin producing "fine chemicals" in the second quarter of 2015. Site operations manager Robin Higgs told the newspaper that the chemicals are something that no 3M plant has produced before. The Decatur plant mostly produces adhesives in batches ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 gallons.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:34 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

Alabama VA Clinic may be part of national scandal

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An email to employees says an audit will show that a central Alabama veterans health care center falsified records to hide evidence of patients waiting too long to receive care. The Montgomery Advertiser reported this weekend that Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System director James Talton disclosed the broad findings of the nationwide audit to be released Monday. His email says the Alabama facility is one of 84 named for unethical practices. Alabama Republican U.S. Rep.

Read more
Arts & Life
8:46 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

University of Alabama productions win Regional Emmys

The Southeast chapter of the National Academy for Television Arts and Sciences tonight named two productions from the Center for Public Television and Radio the winner of Southeast Regional Emmy awards. CPT & R won Best Historical Documentary for the program “Mama Called.” The hour long program on the life and times of legendary Crimson Tide football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant won the honor over entries from stations and producers in Atlanta and South Carolina. According to a press release, September 11, 2013 marked the centennial of the birth of legendary football coach Paul W.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:15 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

More FEMA dollars come to Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — More than $24 million in federal aid been approved for Alabama residents affected by severe weather in April and May. Al.com reports that includes about $13.7 million for housing grants to cover rental expenses and repair costs. People in nine counties are eligible for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including Baldwin, Blount, DeKalb, Etowah, Jefferson, Lee, Limestone, Mobile and Tuscaloosa. The deadline to register is July 1

Business & Education
7:12 am
Sat June 7, 2014

State prepares to fight school tax credit ruling

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The state is taking the first step to challenge a judge's ruling throwing out a Republican-backed law to allow tax credits for private schools. State officials have filed a notice of appeal asking the Alabama Supreme Court to review the decision by Circuit Judge Gene Reese of Montgomery. While the state wants the ruling delayed, the Alabama Education Association is asking the judge to go ahead and enforce the decision. The law allows state tax credits for parents who move their children from failing public schools to private schools.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:08 am
Sat June 7, 2014

State claims few complaints over voter ID law

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Secretary of State Jim Bennett says there were few problems with Alabama's new voter ID law during primary voting this week. Bennett says more than 600,000 people came to the polls on Tuesday but his office received only a few calls about issues with the law. Bennett says the concerns that did come up can be resolved with education before the July 15 runoff election and the general election in November.

Politics & Government
2:40 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Alabama Supreme Court throws out damage award against Auto parts maker

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Supreme Court is ordering a new trial in a lawsuit that resulted in a more than $1 million judgment against an auto parts manufacturer. The justices on Friday sided with Guyoungtech USA, Inc. It makes parts in Conecuh County for the Hyundai automotive factory near Montgomery. Elaine Dees sued the company in 2011 saying she was wrongfully fired after injuring her left arm at work. The company argues she was only laid off because of a workforce reduction. A jury agreed with Dees and awarded her $3.5 million.

Read more
Science & Health
12:20 pm
Sat May 31, 2014

UAB Hospital fights Legionella outbreak

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — UAB Hospital is shocking part of its water system with chlorine, the latest response to an outbreak of deadly legionella bacteria. AL.com reports the hospital began the process on Friday night. The hospital's senior vice president for inpatient services Anthony Patterson says the chlorine treatment is meant to kill any bacteria that may be present. The hospital will limit water use until Saturday evening on the floors being treated. Patterson says the rest of the building will also be treated. Two of the nine people with infections died.

Read more
Politics & Government
6:35 am
Sat May 31, 2014

Hubbard: Ethics probe the result of "politics"

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard says he believes politics are behind a public corruption probe that resulted in one Republican lawmakers' plea deal and another's indictment. Hubbard calls the investigation an attempt to undermine upcoming legislative elections. Hubbard didn't say whom he accuses of acting on political motivation. The investigation is led by a retired Republican district attorney serving as attorney general in the case. Former Rep. Greg Wren of Montgomery pleaded guilty in April to a misdemeanor ethics violation. Rep.

Read more
Politics & Government
8:38 am
Wed May 28, 2014

CDC probe and Voter Fraud Warning

Arts & Life
8:45 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Oysters and Red Light Runners

Pages