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.


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...


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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5:41 am
Mon March 9, 2015

APR Video-- "Sights of Selma"

Alabama Public Radio news director Pat Duggins produced this video while covering the 50th anniversary jubilee of "bloody Sunday" on Selma's Edmund Pettus bridge.
Alabama Public Radio news director Pat Duggins produced this video while covering the commemoration of "bloody Sunday" on the Edmund Pettus bridge in
Arts & Life
8:12 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

"Sounds of Selma"


Thousands of people crowded the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma yesterday to remember what became known as “bloody Sunday.” Voting marchers in 1965 were attacked by State Troopers and a Sheriff’s posse armed with clubs and tear gas. The weekend observance was attended by President Obama and the children of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. APR news director Pat Duggins and reporter Stan Ingold teamed up to bring us this audio postcard…

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Arts & Life
6:23 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

School delays for Friday...

Once again, the APR newsroom compiled this list of school closings and delays. For the most up-to-date information on your child's school, contact the front office or that school's website. Pat D.

AAMU: Open at noon Friday

ALCA Chapters 1 and 2 - “Building Bridges” workshop at Athens State University on Friday is CANCELLED.

Arab City Schools: 3 hour delay Friday

Athens City Schools: Closed Friday

Bethel Baptist School: Closed Friday

Bethlehem Christian Academy: Closed Friday

Colbert County Schools: Closed Friday

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Arts & Life
5:52 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Selma 1865-- The First "March to Freedom"

This weekend, the city of Selma will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the civil rights event known as “bloody Sunday.” In 1965, sheriff deputies and state troopers attacked African American protesters during a voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery. The violence is etched into world history, but it’s not the first time this city has seen bloodshed  nor was 1965 the city's first "march to freedom."

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Arts & Life
5:24 am
Wed February 25, 2015

School Delays for Thursday

The Alabama Public Radio newsroom has compiled this list of school closures. Again, for the most up-to-date information, call the front office of your child's school, or check their website. Pat D.

Alabama A&M University - Open at 12 noon

Albertville City Schools - Closed.

Arab city schools: Closed

Athens City Schools - 3 hour delay

Boaz City Schools - Closed.

Calhoun Community College - Open at 11

Cherokee County Schools - Closed.

Colbert County Schools - 2 hour delay

Cullman City Schools - 3 hour delay

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Arts & Life
5:52 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Tuscaloosa and its Gay Community celebrate Mardi Gras

"King Neptune" at Tuscaloosa's Bal Masque

Mardi Gras is here. The festival along the gulf coast is a time for parades and costumes and party goers catching plastic beads and doubloons. This year’s celebration in Alabama follows a Valentine’s Day like no other. Same sex couples got married and that includes two in Tuscaloosa. This follows a federal court hearing in Mobile that resulted in an order that prompted county probate judges to start issuing marriage licenses. This change, combined with Mardi Gras, is giving Tuscaloosa’s gay community a unique chance to interact with their neighbors in conservative Alabama.

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Arts & Life
6:28 am
Thu February 19, 2015

School Closings for Thursday's WX...

The Alabama Public Radio newsroom compiled this list of school delays and closings due to Thursday's cold weather. For the most up to date information, be sure to call the front office of your child's school or check their website. Pat D

A LIGHT IN THE CITY DAYCARE: Delayed opening until 10 a.m.

Adventure Nook Preschool Inverness: OPENING AT 10AM



CHRISTIAN ACADEMY IRONDALE: Delayed opening until 10 a.m.


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Arts & Life
6:22 am
Sun February 15, 2015

Alabama Braces for Wintry Weather

Have those warm winter coats ready for Monday and Tuesday. That's the warning from forecasters who are predicting a combination of freezing, snow, and ice for much of Alabama. The situation is prompting alerts Governor Robert Bentley to the University of Alabama. Governor Bentley placed several key state agencies on alert and urged Alabamians to prepare for a wintry mix. "With winter weather expected to impact Alabama, we are taking precautions to protect Alabamians," Bentley said in a news release.

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Arts & Life
3:22 pm
Sat February 14, 2015

Alabama Supreme Court may halt Same Sex Marriages

Two same sex marriages in Tuscaloosa County may the exception rather than the case, if two conservative groups get their way. The Alabama Supreme Court will consider a request by two conservative groups seeking to halt same-sex marriages in the state. The court voted six to two on Friday to hear the petition. The organizations are asking the justices to join Chief Justice Roy Moore and direct state probate judges to stop giving marriage licenses to gay couples.

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Arts & Life
6:02 am
Sat February 14, 2015

APR competes in today's "Great Chili Cookoff!"

You know Alabama Public Radio’s Stan Ingold as a national award winning journalist, but did you know he’s a blue ribbon winning barbeque and chili champ as well? The APR news team (with Stan as our “ringer”) is teaming up with WVUA-TV to support today’s Great Tuscaloosa Chili Cookoff to benefit the Tuscaloosa exchange club, and we want your vote!

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Arts & Life
1:50 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Tuscaloosa County's first same sex marriage license = joy and confusion

Tuscaloosa County issued its first marriage license to a same sex couple this morning. The historic moment was the result of a federal court order in Mobile County. Alabama has been in a legal whirlwind all week over when the State’s chief justice refused to enforce an earlier federal ruling that same sex marriages in the state are legal. Today’s legal change of heart in Tuscaloosa means joy for one couple and confusion for another.

“I was at work and I heard the news about the Mobile case…"

We met Meredith Bagley earlier this week…

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Arts & Life
4:43 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

State lawmaker: "Bring Back the Electric Chair," Signing day for College Bound Athletes

An Alabama legislator has a solution to the controversy over execution by lethal injection. Republican Cam Ward wants to bring back the electric chair. The proposal would let Alabama use the electric chair for executions if the state is unable to get the drugs needed for a lethal injection. State senator Ward of Alabaster filed the bill ahead of the legislative session that begins in March. Alabama switched from the electric chair to lethal injection in 2002 as the state's primary form of capital punishment.

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Arts & Life
4:54 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Chilly tonight, Huntsville talks about desegregation deal

Conditions were right for north Alabama to get a light dusting of snow and more could be on the way for tonight. Parts of the Tennessee Valley received traces of snow that left grassy areas white today. The National Weather Service says bridge and overpasses could turn icy since temperatures are around freezing. But authorities aren't expecting major travel problems. Temperatures are predicted to fall into the lower twenties into tonight and early Tuesday, so any freezing precipitation could linger.

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