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
6:34 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Boat delays NASA Orion launch--Vets beat the "holiday blues"

The latest on that planned launch from the Kennedy Space Center. There's been a delay in the liftoff so far of the new Orion crew capsule. A boat apparently went into the safety zone in the Atlantic Ocean, and NASA doesn't want to launch the rocket with the possibility of dropping booster parts on a boat. So, they're trying to chase the boat away so they can proceed. While this goes on, the City Decatur will be closely watching today’s test launch. APR student reporter Josh Hoppenstein has more on north Alabama’s role in the blastoff…

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Arts & Life
7:25 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Alabama rocket to launch new NASA capsule, Rate hikes at Alabama Power

2015 could mean higher power bills for customers of Alabama Power. The utility is planning a rate hike that will mean a monthly increase of close to seven dollars for the average household. Alabama Power says the increase is due to higher costs including overhauling its coal fired plants to reduce pollution. Alabama Power is allowed to file for yearly adjustments. The last one was in 2011. The increases will begin in January unless staff at Alabama Public Service Commission staff object to the company's calculations.

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Arts & Life
6:12 am
Tue December 2, 2014

NLRB Upholds Ruling Against Mercedes, EPA Talks Clean-up near Mobile

APR

The National Labor Relations Board says the Mercedes plant in Tuscaloosa did violate federal labor laws. The panel upheld a ruling that Mercedes broke the law when it kept UAW supporters from handing out leaflets. The ruling by the three-member panel means Mercedes to update its employee handbook to allow union activities and to post notices admitting it did wrong. Mercedes has long declared that it is neutral on union questions. The UAW has been ramping up unionization efforts.

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Arts & Life
2:38 pm
Sun November 30, 2014

Report: More Alabama Children Live in Poverty

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A new report from a child advocacy group shows Alabama's children are making improvements in early education, fewer are being born to unwed teens, and less are dying from preventable causes. But the report also shows more are living in poverty and much remains to be done for Alabama to catch up with most other states. The Montgomery-based advocacy group VOICES for Alabama's Children issued the Kids Count Data Book with the help of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The foundation ranks Alabama 44th among the states in child well-being.

Business & Education
1:02 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Ebola Virus means profits

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Ebola scare is subsiding in the United States, but an Alabama manufacturer is still trying to catch up with a glut of orders for gear to protect against the disease. Dennis Sanders of Kappler Inc. says the Guntersville company has about 75,000 protective suits on back order. He says workers will stay busy filling orders through April. Kappler typically gets only a few orders annually for the type of suit needed by health workers who are in contact with Ebola patients. Sanders says that changed once the disease showed up in Texas.

Arts & Life
12:52 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Iron Bowl Bet Between Auburn and Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — As the Auburn Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide prepare to face off on the football field, the mayors of their towns have made a friendly wager. The Opelika-Auburn News reports that Auburn Mayor Bill Ham Jr. and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox have bet $100 on Saturday's Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa. The money will be donated to a charity chosen by the winning team. If Auburn University wins, the money will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County. If the University of Alabama wins, the money will go to the Tuscaloosa Pre-K Initiative.

Arts & Life
5:47 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Civil Air Patrol to receive Congressional Gold Medal

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama-based Civil Air Patrol will be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington, D.C., next month. The Civil Air Patrol said in a statement that the award is being given in honor of the organization's founding members for their role in protecting the U.S. against German U-boat attacks during World War II and carrying out other wartime domestic missions. The Congressional Gold Medal ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 10 in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.

Arts & Life
8:48 am
Thu November 27, 2014

"That's a wrap!" Alabama, Inc. season two Finale

That's a wrap! The grand finale of season two of "Alabama, Inc" aired last night on Alabama Public Television and APR. Along with lots of listeners and viewers, we received over, 8,000 "Tweets" on APR's twitter page. Click here for links for all ten of APR's profiles!

http://apr.org/post/alabama-inc-what-was

Arts & Life
1:37 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

Alabama, Inc.-- "What Was That?'

The second season of “Alabama, Inc” wraps up tonight on your local Alabama Public Television station. The APR newsroom is collaborating on this television show about business by focusing on translation. Alabama is home to companies that do business in German, Japanese, French and so on. I'll profile a Huntsville entrepreneur who has the job of keeping all those languages clear…

“How do you say it’s raining cats and dogs in…. say Spanish or French?"

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Arts & Life
7:06 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Alabama, Inc-- The "Lady Next Door" who saves her clients millions

Alabama Public Radio continues its collaboration on the television show about business called Alabama, Inc. So far this year, I've profiled business leaders specializing in advertising, construction, architecture, and sporting goods, among others. Tonight, the spotlight falls on Dottie King. She could be mistaken for your favorite aunt. The catch is, she’s saved clients millions of dollars…

“Middle aged women are very trustworthy.”

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Arts & Life
1:36 pm
Sun November 16, 2014

Alabama Braces for more Cold Weather

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Forecasters say they're expecting wind gusts of up to 25 mph and wind chills in the single digits in parts of north Alabama early this week. National Weather Service forecasters say high winds are expected Monday afternoon and frigid wind chills are expected to move in on Tuesday morning in an area including Florence, Decatur, Huntsville, Cullman and others. Meteorologists say wind chills could drop to the single digits and below zero in high altitude areas. Forecasters say they're anticipating a mix of rain and sleet early Monday morning and possible snow flurries.

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Arts & Life
7:56 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Soggy today...chilly early next week...

MOBILE--

ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 60S. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 50 PERCENT.

SUNDAY NIGHT...WARMER. RAIN SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS. LOWS IN THE UPPER 50S INLAND...IN THE LOWER 60S ALONG THE COAST. INLAND... ALONG THE COAST...CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 90 PERCENT. .MONDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY. CHANCE OF RAIN SHOWERS. NEAR STEADY TEMPERATURE IN THE LOWER 60S. CHANCE OF SHOWERS 50 PERCENT.

HUNTSVILLE--

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Arts & Life
6:44 am
Sat November 15, 2014

A little warmer today!

MOBILE

SATURDAY...SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 50S. .SATURDAY NIGHT...NOT AS COOL. PARTLY CLOUDY. LOWS IN THE LOWER 40S INLAND...IN THE UPPER 40S ALONG THE COAST.

.SUNDAY...WARMER. MOSTLY CLOUDY. CHANCE OF RAIN SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 60S. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 50 PERCENT.

.SUNDAY NIGHT...WARMER. RAIN SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS. LOWS IN THE UPPER 50S INLAND...IN THE LOWER 60S ALONG THE COAST. INLAND...CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 90 PERCENT.

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Arts & Life
4:47 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

No Re-trial for Alabama killer, record cold--brrr!

An Alabama woman will not get a new trial for a murder in Mississippi. That state’s supreme court denied a re-trial for Rebecca Jones. The Lauderdale County woman was sentenced to life in prison in 2013 for the murder of her mother. Jones argued in court documents that her mother was shot during a struggle over a gun. Prosecutors say there was no evidence that’s the way it happened. The Mississippi high court ruled seven to two against Jones.

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Arts & Life
4:44 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Homeless Shelters for the cold, and female inmate challenges parole law

Get ready to bundle up for what forecasters say will be the coldest weather of the season. Temperatures from the Tennessee Valley to central Alabama are expected to plunge to the upper twenties tonight and Friday night. Weather watchers say these readings are twenty degrees below the average for this time of year. Mark Rose is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Birmingham. He says the frigid conditions are due to a polar vortex coming down from Canada.

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