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
7:26 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Freezing cold is coming, death sentence halted

The National Weather Service is looking into damage from last weekend’s storms in Alabama. APR’s Alex AuBuchon reports, forecasters are also looking ahead to some brutally cold weather starting tonight…

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Arts & Life
8:38 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Bentley: No Property Tax Hike, University of Alabama goes Smokeless

No property tax hike. Governor Robert Bentley is making that promise as he prepares His first budget to include raising taxes. Speculation is that the Governor may want to cut tax exemptions and other tax breaks. Bentley isn't saying yet what will be in the package he unveils when the Legislature meets in March. But he says he doesn't like property taxes and neither does the Alabama public. The Legislature may have to raise upwards of seven hundred million dollars to cover its debts. Bentley begins his second term January nineteenth.

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Arts & Life
7:50 am
Sun January 4, 2015

Wet yesterday, and the cold is coming...

Alabama will trade yesterday's high winds and heavy rains for sub freezing temperatures this week. The South is cleaning up from rough weather, including a couple tornadoes, and storms that pelted parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee yesterday. The system downed trees and power lines, damaged homes, and prompted tornado warnings in parts of Alabama, including Tuscaloosa and Marion counties. At the height of the storm, Alabama Power reported close to seven thousand customers lost electricity.

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Arts & Life
6:55 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Selma residents can see "Selma" for free

Citizens of Selma can see the controversial new movie "Selma" for free. Paramount Pictures announced that the movie will be show free to Selma citizens starting this Friday at the Walton Theater in west Alabama city. The film is disappointing supporters of President Lyndon B. Johnson, including the director of the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin. Mark Updegrove says the film incorrectly portrays Johnson as an obstructionist to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Arts & Life
6:43 am
Sat January 3, 2015

A Soggy Saturday...

Tuscaloosa

.SATURDAY...WARMER. CHANCE OF RAIN SHOWERS IN THE MORNING...THEN RAIN SHOWERS AND CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 60S. CHANCE OF RAIN NEAR 100 PERCENT. .

SATURDAY NIGHT...RAIN SHOWERS AND CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS IN THE EVENING...THEN CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS AFTER MIDNIGHT. LOWS IN THE LOWER 50S. CHANCE OF RAIN NEAR 100 PERCENT. 

Selma

.SATURDAY...WARMER. CHANCE OF RAIN SHOWERS IN THE MORNING...THEN RAIN SHOWERS LIKELY AND CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 70S. CHANCE OF RAIN 70 PERCENT. .

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Arts & Life
1:41 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Forecasters warn about violent weather

Forecasters say Saturday’s stormy weather outlook could turn violent over parts of south Alabama. There's a chance for damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes as severe storms form over south Alabama. The National Weather Service says the threat of severe weather will begin Saturday and continue into Saturday night ahead of an approaching cold front. One concern is that some flooding might also occur, particularly in urban areas and places with poor drainage. The weather service projects that up to 2 inches of rain is possible across south Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Arts & Life
6:51 am
Fri January 2, 2015

No Title shot for Alabama

For the first time since 2005, no SEC team will play in the national championship. Ohio State's Cardale Jones came through again at the Sugar Bowl in his second career start, leading the Buckeyes to a forty two to thirty five upset of top-ranked Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal Thursday night. Ohio State will play Oregon in the national championship game January 12th in Arlington, Texas. Head Coach Nick Saban says the Buckeyes keys to victory weren't obvious as the season unfolded and they should do well in the title game...

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Business & Education
1:27 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

Publix to offer benefits to same sex couples

The Florida based Publix grocery store chain is offering employee insurance benefits to same-sex couples legally married in other states. The move impacts Alabama where Publix operates fifty eight stores. The Lakeland-based company told employees this week that beginning on New Year’s Day, Publix would expand coverage for its health, dental and vision benefit plans to associates married in any state where same-sex marriages are legal. Publix owns nearly two thousand grocery stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Arts & Life
7:07 am
Thu January 1, 2015

New Year's Holiday Weather Outlook

Huntsville—

TODAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE MID 40S. CHANCE OF RAIN 50 PERCENT.

TONIGHT...CLOUDY. RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT. NEAR STEADY TEMPERATURE AROUND 40. CHANCE OF RAIN 90 PERCENT. .

FRIDAY...CLOUDY. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN RAIN. CHANCE OF RAIN 70 PERCENT.

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Arts & Life
6:25 am
Thu January 1, 2015

Game On! Alabama meets Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl (again)

All eyes are on New Orleans as Alabama and Ohio State face off again during today’s Sugar Bowl. The Tide and the Buckeyes first met in New Orleans in 1978. Alabama under Coach Bear Bryant beat Ohio State, coached by Woody Hayes, 35-6.

Now, both teams are vying for a slot in the first ever college football championship game. The winner of the Sugar bowl will face either Oregon or FSU who are playing in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Buckeyes have a reputation for physical football similar to LSU. Defensive back Landon Collins says the Tide needs to be ready for whatever comes…

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Politics & Government
8:24 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Affordable Care Act more popular in Alabama

More Alabamians are signing up for health insurance through the federal marketplace than last year. The Department of Health and Human Services says these consumers are snapping up policies at a much faster rate as well. Nearly sixty five thousand Alabamians selected plans in the marketplace during November and December. That compares to nearly twenty nine thousand who had signed up during the same time last year. Washington says ninety one percent of those who have selected a plan are eligible for federal assistance. That's higher than the national average of 87 percent.

Arts & Life
7:37 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Execution date for controversial killer, New Year's "financial" resolutions

Two Alabama death row inmates have dates for their executions. The Alabama Supreme Court says Tommy Arthur will be put to death on February nineteenth with Bill Kuenzel one month later. The two inmates are the first to be executed with the state's new lethal injection drug combination. The state carried out its last death sentence last executed an inmate in 2013. A shortage of drugs left Alabama unable to carry out death sentences. The Department of Corrections adopted a new three-drug combination in September.

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Arts & Life
8:12 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Hubbard: Ethics Case appears Political; what to do with old Xmas Trees?

It looks like Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard is gearing up for a fight. The Republican lawmaker faces twenty three counts of using his elected office for personal gain. Hubbard’s legal team issued a subpoena for a recorded phone conversation between a talk show host and a prosecutor. His lawyers say they believe there might be other conversations involving prosecutors. Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart claimed prosecutors are not acting with political motivations. Defense lawyers say the call shows an effort to taint the jury pool.

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Award Entries
1:30 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

UAW versus Mercedes Benz

APR

UAW versus Mercedes Benz

Alabama Public Radio

Audio clip at the bottom of the page

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Arts & Life
8:24 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Post Holiday traffic, Sugar Bowl is coming

Get ready for plenty of company on Alabama’s roadways. The holiday driving period is expected to drag on until after New Year’s and Triple-A Alabama says this year set a record. Triple-A predicted ninety nine million people nationwide would drive at least fifty miles from home this year. That’s a four percent hike over 2013. AAA spokesman Clay Ingram says the growing number of holiday drivers is part of an ongoing trend…

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