Pat Duggins

News Director

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.  If his name or voice is familiar, it could be his twenty five years covering the U.S. space program, including fourteen years 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, 2012, and 2013. 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. His documentary "Civil Rights Radio," on the 1963 "children's march" in Birmingham was honored with the international "Silver Radio Award" from the New York Festivals radio competition, and with a "Gabriel Award" from the Catholic Church. 

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 fifty awards for excellence in journalism, including a second national Sigma Delta Chi award and the international Gabriel award. Duggins is also the recipient of a Suncoast Regional Emmy.

Ways to Connect

NOAA

NOTASULGA, Ala. (AP) — The National Weather Service confirms that a tornado hit an east Alabama community overnight. An assessment team determined Friday that an EF-2 twister with winds up to 120 mph struck Thursday night in the Macon County community of Notasulga. The crew is still working on a damage assessment, but residents have reported damage to some homes and numerous trees in the area. Damage was reported in about a half-dozen counties.

Remembering Mal Moore

Apr 5, 2013
U of A

Friends, family, and fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide gathered in Tuscaloosa to remember Mal Moore. The former Alabama football player, assistant coach, and athletic director died just ten days after resigning his post at UA. A celebration of life was held at Coleman Coliseum, next to the athletics facility named in Moore's honor. Alabama Public Radio was there. APR's Pat Duggins and Stan Ingold put together this sound portrait.

Istockphoto

What’s the worst pair of eyeglasses you’ve ever worn? The black rimmed type sported by Clark Kent? How about the large red frames made famous by talk show host Sally Jessie Rafael? Others are considered cultural icons, like the gold rimmed specs worn by Beatle John Lennon. Those didn’t come from a fancy boutique. But rather, there were the standard frames available through the British National Health Service.

U of A

The University Of Alabama Board Of Trustees today approved the hiring of Bill Battle as Athletics Director. He’ll replace Mal Moore who resigned the position this week due to health reasons. The two men played on Legendary Coach Bear Bryant’s first national championship football team at Alabama back in 1961. “If I didn’t do this,” said Battle, “I’d regret it the rest of my life. Because it’s a great opportunity to pay back the university, if I can, what a great debt I owe the university.” That’s the soft-spoken Bill Battle.

University of Alabama

The University of Alabama announced today that Coach Mal Moore will step down as athletics director, effective March 20, 2013. He will become special assistant to President Judy Bonner. “Mal Moore is Crimson Tide sports,” said Bonner. “During his tenure as athletics director, our student athletes have experienced unprecedented success in every aspect of their careers at UA, on the field of play and in the classroom. His contributions to UA athletics on every level are unsurpassed.

APR

Alabama Public Radio News Director Pat Duggins reported on stories in 2012 ranging from the twin EF-2 tornadoes that struck near downtown Mobile in Christmas night. This entry also includes his report from the Mercedes Benz Superdome following the Alabama Crimson Tide's 21-0 victory over the LSU Tigers for the BCS college football championship. Finally, Duggins reports from Washington, D.C. on a congressional hearing on the growing problem of HIV infection in the South, where activists from Alabama where scheduled to testify.

APR

Alabama Public Radio's Ryan Vasquez reports on the on-going legal fight over treatment of Alabama prisoners who test positive for the virus that causes AIDS. This story involved tracking down former inmate Alfred Knox, who was diagnosed with HIV while in prison in Alabama. He now resides in Illinois, and whose case is the heart of the legal fight on whether infected prisoners can legally be segregated from the general population.

APR

Alabama Public Radio news director Pat Duggins specializes in sports coverage on APR. His coverage this year includes the Alabama Crimson Tide's 21-0 victory over the LSU Tigers in New Orleans for the BCS championship. Pat also produced an advancer feature on how the BCS game was viewed by members of the 1992 Crimson Tide championship team, whose members defeated Miami at the same venue where the 2012 team would face LSU.

APR

Alabama Public Radio's Pat Duggins reports on the University of Alabama football team's victory during the 2012 BCS college football championship in New Orleans, by defeating the only team that beat the Crimson Tide during the regular season. The Louisiana State University left Tide fans demoralized by forcing Alabama into overtime before a hometown crowd in Tuscaloosa, and then winning by a field goal. Duggins reports on how both teams won slots in the BCS game, with Alabama winning with a 21-0 shutdown.

APR

Alabama Public Radio's Pat Duggins reports on the University of Alabama football team's victory during the 2012 BCS college football championship in New Orleans, by defeating the only team that beat the Crimson Tide during the regular season. The Louisiana State University left Tide fans demoralized by forcing Alabama into overtime before a hometown crowd in Tuscaloosa, and then winning by a field goal. Duggins reports on how both teams won slots in the BCS game, with Alabama winning with a 21-0 shutdown.

APR

Alabama Public Radio newscast anchor Maggie Martin delivered the local news during Morning Edition on Monday, November 26, 2012. The stories that day included the internet shopping event known as Cyber Monday, and the preparations by the Alabama Crimson Tide football team to face the Georgia Bulldogs for the SEC Championship in Atlanta.

House of Perna

You can never been too rich or too thin, right?

APR/CPT & R

Beginning Sunday, the Alabama Public Radio newsroom will help premiere a new television program about business. It’s called “Alabama, Inc.” and it will air Sundays at 4 pm and 4:30pm on WVUA-TV. This week on APR, you’ll hear two stories from that opening program. Subject number two is the man behind the high-end fashion mall “The Summit” near Birmingham. Saks Fifth Avenue, Gus Meyer, Jos. A. Banks—the list of high end fashion stores “The Summit” reads like a retail who’s who.

APR/CPT & R

Beginning Sunday, the Alabama Public Radio newsroom will help premiere a new television program about business. It’s called “Alabama, Inc.” and it will air Sundays at 4 pm and 4:30pm on WVUA-TV. This week on APR, you’ll hear two stories from that opening program. Subject number one is food trucks in the Birmingham area by Alabama Inc. host Gigi Douban. Tacos and Vietnamese sandwiches and gourmet popsicles. Depending on where you are in Alabama, you don't necessarily have to go to a restaurant to find these things. They're on the street in food trucks.

APR

The Tuscaloosa entertainment district of Timmerson Square erupted in gunfire the early morning of July 17th. Witnesses told police that a gunman, armed with a military assault rifle, started shooting into the Copper Top Bar, a popular night spot for students of the University of Alabama. APR’s Maggie Martin followed the manhunt for the suspect and the effort to treat the seventeen victims, three in critical condition, who were taken to DCH Regional Medical Center, with SWAT officers posted outside.

APR

The University of Alabama football team won the 2012 BCS college football championship in New Orleans, by defeating the only team that beat the Crimson Tide during the regular season. The Louisiana State University left Tide fans demoralized by forcing Alabama into overtime before a hometown crowd in Tuscaloosa, and then winning by a field goal. APR’s Pat Duggins reports on how both teams won slots in the BCS game, with Alabama winning with a 21-0 shutdown.

APR

On the eve of the 2012 BCS College Football championship game in New Orleans, a group of Alabamians in their early forties looked back on a similar accomplishment. 2012 was the twentieth anniversary of the Crimson Tide’s title winning season under Coach Gene Stallings. APR’s Pat Duggins spoke with fans of the 1992 Alabama team, as well as former players Prince Wimbley, Martin Houston, and Dennis Deason.

APR

Not every lesson on the football field involves passing or blocking. Former members of the University of Alabama football team gathered at a bowling alley in the town of Trussville to try to help two year old Brielle Warren. The little girl is the daughter of Derrick Warren, who played for the Tide in 1992 when the team won the national championship under Coach Gene Stallings. Brielle has Alexander’s Disease, which is typically fatal for children by the age of ten.

APR

Not every beachfront resident in Alabama lives in a condo. APR’s Pat Duggins reports how, during the final hours before the arrival of Hurricane Isaac, a volunteer group of gulf coast residents staged a last minute rescue operation to save loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings from drowning in their nests from the rough surf. Alabama is home to one hundred and forty eight nests of endangered loggerheads. Mike Reynolds leads the group “Share The Beach,” which scoured the Alabama gulf coast for nests.

APR

Remembering the dearly departed with a “bang” is at heart of “Holy Smoke,” a story by APR’s Stan Ingold on a company in Stockton, Alabama. Entrepreneurs Tad Holmes and Clem Parnell are both avid hunters, and wanted to be remembered after their passing. The solution was “Holy Smoke,” a business which loads the cremated remains of hunters into shotgun shells and bullets for their family and friends to use. Stan also spoke with Priscilla Eisler of Spanish Fort. Her husband was a hunter, who requested that his ashes be packed into ammunition.

APR

2012 was a year of triumph and tragedy for Alabama. The Alabama Public Radio news team consists of News Director Pat Duggins, reporter Stan Ingold, and anchor/reporters Maggie Martin and Ryan Vasquez.

APR

One year after an EF-4 tornado struck Tuscaloosa, the community is still recovering. The Alabama Public Radio news team followed survivors and local officials in the months after the storm to investigate the aftermath. The result is the documentary “Winds of Change.” Some residents are still in temporary housing or are in the process of rebuilding.

APR

On the eve of the 2012 BCS College Football championship game in New Orleans, a group of Alabamians in their early forties looked back on a similar accomplishment. 2012 was the twentieth anniversary of the Crimson Tide’s title winning season under Coach Gene Stallings. APR’s Pat Duggins spoke with fans of the 1992 Alabama team, as well as former players Prince Wimbley, Martin Houston, and Dennis Deason.

APR

Not every beachfront resident in Alabama lives in a condo. APR’s Pat Duggins reports how, during the final hours before the arrival of Hurricane Isaac, a volunteer group of gulf coast residents staged a last minute rescue operation to save loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings from drowning in their nests from the rough surf. Alabama is home to one hundred and forty eight nests of endangered loggerheads. Mike Reynolds leads the group “Share The Beach,” which scoured the Alabama gulf coast for nests.

istockphoto

Alabama is one of only two States which segregates prison inmates infected with the virus which causes AIDS. APR’s Ryan Vasquez reports on one former inmate who is challenging the policy with a lawsuit. Albert Knox is on parole, and living in Urbana, Illinois. While serving his sentence, Knox was asked to wear a white wrist band and live and eat in segregated facilities. Once, during a drug rehab meeting, he was asked to join other inmates for lunch. Afterwards, prison guards staged a mass search for his plate and utensils in an effort to prevent Knox from spreading HIV to other inmates.

APR

What does the great, great, great nephew of old west gunslinger Wyatt Earp do for fun? Wade Earp is a competitor in the “gay rodeo” circuit, and Alabama wants to bring that kind of contest here. APR’s Maggie Martin produced a three part series on gay rodeos, with the first segment focusing on efforts to get one sanctioned in Alabama. Part two included a visit to the gay rodeo of Fort Worth, Texas, where Martin interviewed Earp as well as John Beck, the so called “grandfather” of the gay rodeo.

APR

Not every beachfront resident in Alabama lives in a condo. APR’s Pat Duggins reports how, during the final hours before the arrival of Hurricane Isaac, a volunteer group of gulf coast residents staged a last minute rescue operation to save loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings from drowning in their nests from the rough surf. Alabama is home to one hundred and forty eight nests of endangered loggerheads. Mike Reynolds leads the group “Share The Beach,” which scoured the Alabama gulf coast for nests.

APR

Not every beachfront resident in Alabama lives in a condo. APR’s Pat Duggins reports how, during the final hours before the arrival of Hurricane Isaac, a volunteer group of gulf coast residents staged a last minute rescue operation to save loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings from drowning in their nests from the rough surf. Alabama is home to one hundred and forty eight nests of endangered loggerheads. Mike Reynolds leads the group “Share The Beach,” which scoured the Alabama gulf coast for nests.

APR

Remembering the dearly departed with a “bang” is at heart of “Holy Smoke,” a story by APR’s Stan Ingold on a company in Stockton, Alabama. Entrepreneurs Tad Holmes and Clem Parnell are both avid hunters, and wanted to be remembered after their passing. The solution was “Holy Smoke,” a business which loads the cremated remains of hunters into shotgun shells and bullets for their family and friends to use. Stan also spoke with Priscilla Eisler of Dothan. Her husband was a hunter, who requested that his ashes be packed into ammunition.

Highlands Bar & Grill

Restaurant goers from Birmingham to New York City know the influence of Chef Frank Stitt. The James Beard award winning chef operates Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, which just marked its thirtieth anniversary. Former workers who studied under Stitt have moved on to run other restaurants like Gramercy Tavern in New York. APR’s Pat Duggins reports on Stitt’s influence in a story which goes from Highlands Bar & Grill, to Gramercy in New York, which is recovering from Hurricane Sandy, to the halls of the hospital of the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

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