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
5:12 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

16th Street Baptist Church bombing remembered, Opeleika man wins Cong. Medal of Honor

Newscast 4:32 pm September 15, 2014

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Arts & Life
4:04 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Phil Campbell High School bounces back from Tornado

PHIL CAMPBELL, Ala. (AP) - A northwest Alabama town is finally opening a new school more than three years after a tornado destroyed the old one. Students began attending classes at Phil Campbell High School on Monday. WAFF-TV reports that teachers, administrators and some students worked much of the weekend getting the new building ready to open. An EF-5 tornado killed more than two dozen people and destroyed much of the Franklin County city during the outbreak of April 27, 2011. The school was among the casualties.

Arts & Life
7:27 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Alabama/Auburn win season openers

ATLANTA (AP) — Blake Sims was good enough in his first start at quarterback for Alabama, getting plenty of help from Amari Cooper, T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry, and the second-ranked Crimson Tide held off West Virginia 33-23 Saturday. Sims was 24-for-33 for 250 yards and added 42 running, playing every meaningful series. The fifth-year senior beat out Florida State transfer Jake Coker for the start. Tide coach Nick Saban had suggested both quarterbacks would play, but Coker only came in to take a knee at the end.

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6:02 am
Sun August 3, 2014

APR Video: The re-enactment of the Battle of Mobile Bay

APR news director Pat Duggins shot this video at Fort Morgan while covering the observance of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay. APR's radio series on the battle, and on Alabama's role in the Civil War in 1864, can be found at apr.org
APR news director Pat Duggins shot this video at Fort Morgan while covering the observance of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay. APR's series on Alabama's role in the Civil War in 1864 can be found at apr.org
Politics & Government
5:16 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Security cameras installed at Alabama womens' prison

WETUMPKA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Department of Corrections officials say a surveillance system featuring more than 300 cameras has been installed at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka. Department Commissioner Kim Thomas said Thursday that the surveillance system is part of an effort to improve inmate safety at the facility. The U.S.

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Arts & Life
5:35 am
Thu July 31, 2014

The Battle of Mobile Bay-- "Read All About It!"

Pat Duggins

Alabama Public Radio is looking back on the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay. The Naval engagement helped close off supply lines to the Confederacy, which brought the war to an end. It was also a big deal for newspapers during that time. Before radio, television, and the web—this is how most people got their headlines. We’re in the press room of the Birmingham News. Press manager David Ellis takes around as tomorrow’s issue goes by on rollers. The first thing you notice is the smell. It’s the red, black, yellow and blue ink.

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Arts & Life
5:40 am
Mon July 28, 2014

The Battle of Mobile Bay-- "When the Blue and Gray isn't Black and White"

Pat Duggins

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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5:07 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

APR Video-- Re-enactment of the Civil War "Battle of Resaca"

The Alabama Public Radio newsroom will present a week of stories on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay, and Alabama's role in the U.S. Civil War in 1864. That includes the battle of Resaca, just over the border from Alabama. This year marks that battle's sesquicentennial as well. APR news director Pat Duggins took this video while covering the re-enactment of the Battle of Resaca. Civil War enthusiasts re-created the skirmish between Confederate General Joe Johnston and Union General William T. Sherman, on the 150th anniversary of the battle. Tune in for Pat's story about Resaca Monday on Alabama Public Radio
APR News Director Pat Duggins took this video during the re-enactment of the Battle of Resaca. The combat between Confederate General Joseph Johnston and Union General William T. Sherman took place the same year as the Battle of Mobile Bay (1864.)
Arts & Life
2:54 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

Rare Summertime "cold" front

APR

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A cold front pushed temperatures across Alabama well below normal Saturday morning.

Al.com reports that the National Weather Service recorded record lows across the state: Montgomery tied a record from 1882 with 64 degrees; Huntsville's 57 degrees tied a record from 1915; 64 degrees in Mobile broke a 1924 record; Birmingham set a record with 58 degrees; and Tuscaloosa set a record with 60 degrees.

Politics & Government
8:25 am
Sat July 5, 2014

State Lawmen break up modern day Moonshine operation

ASHLAND, Ala. (AP) — State authorities have found a 20-barrel moonshine still near Ashland and plan to arrest the alleged operator. AL.com reports that Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board agents discovered the still Friday after getting a tip from local residents about a possible marijuana field in the area off Jericho Road in Clay County. Agents found the still, along with 16.5 gallons of moonshine, in a utility shed along a dirt road off Jericho Road. They said they also encountered the suspected operator on the property.

Science & Health
8:21 am
Sat July 5, 2014

More jobs at Decatur Chemical Plant

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — A north Alabama chemical facility is getting an $11.2 million upgrade as part of plans for expanded operations. A top official at the 3M Co.'s facility on State Docks Road in Decatur told the Decatur Daily that the facility is on track to begin producing "fine chemicals" in the second quarter of 2015. Site operations manager Robin Higgs told the newspaper that the chemicals are something that no 3M plant has produced before. The Decatur plant mostly produces adhesives in batches ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 gallons.

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