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.

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Arts & Life
10:17 am
Fri April 17, 2015

APR's National award winning coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill

Monday is the fifth anniversary of the Gulf Oil spill. Below are links to Alabama Public Radio’s national award winning coverage of the aftermath of the disaster off Alabama’s gulf coast in 2010. “Oil & Water: Recovering From the Spill” examined the initial recovery efforts, as well as the long-term effect of the spill on the economy, environment, and mental health of the region. "Oil & Water" won first place for best news series from "The Public Radio News Directors' Incorporated" in 2012.  It was APR's first PRNDI award in a decade.

Politics & Government
2:39 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

Alabama May Tax Downloads

Governor Robert Bentley is looking for more sources of state revenue and one agency may have found one. The Alabama Department of Revenue is considering a new rule requiring companies that offer digital streaming services to pay a four percent state tax. The fee would apply to movies, television programs and music. The revenue department says it's an attempt to update tax code for the digital era. Governor Bentley wants new taxes to plug a half billion dollar hole in the state budget. Opponents say the rule overreaches the bounds of current tax law.

Politics & Government
7:57 am
Sun April 12, 2015

Next Alabama Budget Target = State Parks

The budget standoff between Governor Robert Bentley and the state legislature now involves state parks. State House member Joe Faust wants to make state parks self sufficient, so Montgomery doesn’t have to spend tax dollars on them. Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores is one of five facilities statewide that turn a profit. Still, Park Director Lisa Larraway says any budget cuts would be felt. Governor Bentley says he’ll veto any budget bill that doesn’t raise taxes to plug a half billion dollar spending shortfall. He’s proposing ideas like hiking cigarette taxes as one solution.

Arts & Life
8:39 am
Sat April 11, 2015

Non-Profit Manager to Plead to Fraud...

The former financial chief of two Alabama nonprofits for the poor and homeless will plead guilty to defrauding millions of dollars from the clinics and the federal agencies that fund them. The U.S. Attorney's office says Terri McGuire Mollica has agreed to plead guilty to almost twenty counts related to fraud against the government, including wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. Mollica worked for Birmingham Health Care and the Central Alabama Comprehensive Health Inc.

Arts & Life
9:58 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Kentuck Art Center Kicks Off Capital Campaign

The Kentuck Art Center near Tuscaloosa kicked off a capital campaign to renovate its facilities with the receipt of a $50,000 donation from Alabama Power. Mark Crews, Vice President of the utility’s western division, presented the check to the Kentuck board during a member event at Chuck’s Fish in Downtown Tuscaloosa. The campaign seeks to raise over a million dollars to refurbish its five building complex in the town of Northport. Part of the Kentuck complex had to be evacuated when it became infested by bats.

Arts & Life
6:55 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Alabama Braces for Rough Weather

Forecasters say strong storms with damaging winds could hit Alabama. The National Weather Service says a strong cold front and an upper level disturbance moving in from the west will create a chance for severe weather on Friday. The risk is greatest in Alabama's northwestern corner early in the day, and forecasters say storms will spread to the southeast during the day before exiting the state. The weather service says periods of damaging winds and large hail are possible. So are some short-lived tornadoes, although forecasters aren't expecting a major outbreak of severe weather.

Award Entries
10:55 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Best Soft News Feature--Alabama Public Radio "When The Blue and Gray Isn't Black and White"

Alabama Public Radio is looking back on the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay. The engagement, on August 5, 1864, was a turning point in the “war between the states.” APR listeners heard about the re-enactment of the Battle of Resaca yesterday, but that’s not the end of the story. An Alabama cavalry unit took part in the actual battle. And, we warn you, there’s a twist.

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Award Entries
10:46 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Best Public Affairs or Documentary--Alabama Public Radio "Damn The Torpedoes"

One hundred and fifty years ago, the battle of Mobile Bay helped bring the U.S. Civil War to a close. Historians also credit the engagement with helping Abraham Lincoln win a second term as President. Over the next half hour, Alabama Public Radio will look back on the battle and Alabama’s role in the Civil War in 1864. Stan Ingold will examine the Mobile campaign from the perspective of the man who lost. Ryan Vasquez will explain how Mobile resulted in more Congressional Medals of Honor than any other U.S. Naval battle.

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Arts & Life
10:40 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Best Spot News Story--Alabama Public Radio "UAW versus Mercedes Benz"

UAW versus Mercedes Benz

Alabama Public Radio

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Award Entries
10:33 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Extraordinary Coverage of a Scheduled Event--Alabama Public Radio "UAW versus Mercedes Benz"

UAW versus Mercedes Benz

Alabama Public Radio

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Award Entries
9:42 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Most Outstanding News Operation--Alabama Public Radio

2014 saw the United Auto Workers union’s successful challenge of German auto maker Mercedes Benz before the National Labor Relations Board, the white-out snow storm that crippled central Alabama, and massive lay-offs at the International Paper Company’s mill in Lawrence County.

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Arts & Life
4:21 am
Tue March 24, 2015

"More Bridges to Cross..."

“At that time, we’d been singing songs, we shall overcome, and before I’d be a slave…be dead and buried in my grave,” says Bennie Lee Tucker. He’s seventy four years old, and he spent the last fifty five of those years here in Selma. “And we gonna let nobody turn us around, no more Governor Wallace…no more white folk,” he says.

On the front porch of his home on Eugene Avenue, Tucker recalls March 7th, 1965. It was the height of the voting rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior wasn’t the name on everyone’s mind that day.

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Arts & Life
7:33 am
Sun March 22, 2015

White House observes 5th anniversary of the "Affordable Care Act"

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act are pointing out Alabama’s participation on the fifth anniversary of the program. It was in 2010 when President Obama signed the Act into law. One hundred and seventy one thousand Alabamians were enrolled as of last month when the latest sign-up period ended. The U.S. Supreme Court could deal the Act a setback in June. That’s when the Justices rule on the legality of tax subsidies that help people buy policies. Pamela Roshell is regional director for the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Arts & Life
7:23 am
Sat March 21, 2015

UAB's bite at the "March Madness" apple is over

Tony Parker led five UCLA Bruins in double figures with a career-high twenty eight to beat UAB ninety two to seventy five to advance to the sweet sixteen of “March Madness.” A controversial “goal tending” call with seconds to go, gave the Bruins their win over the SMU Mustangs to make it to this round. The Blazer’s Robert Brown made his presence known with twenty five points. Chris Cokley made nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to hold off UCLA.

Arts & Life
3:37 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

"My favorite story..." by Kathryn Tucker Windham's daughter...

APR

Friends, family, and fans of the late Kathyrn Tucker Windham gathered today at Judson College, just outside of Selma, as the storyteller became part of the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame. APR’s Pat Duggins asked Windham's daughter, Dilcy Windham Hilley (second from the left in our photo,) to relate her favorite story that her mother used to tell...

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