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. Pat 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. 

Pat’s has won more than twenty awards for excellence in journalism, including a second national Sigma Delta Chi award, a National Headliner Award, and a Suncoast Regional Emmy.

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Award Entries
8:49 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Best Continuing Coverage--Alabama BCS Championship

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban with Coach Les Miles of LSU prior to the kickoff of the BCS College Football Championship in New Orleans in 2012
APR

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Science & Health
5:37 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

Auburn researcher names spider for U-2 singer Bono

istockphoto

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — It appeared Bono and arachnids didn't mix when his "Spider-Man" musical had a rough Broadway run, but that didn't keep a biologist from naming an actual spider species after the U2 singer. Jason Bond of Alabama's Auburn University has identified 33 new species of trapdoor spider, including three of them in the California desert at Joshua Tree National Park.

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Arts & Life
2:51 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

Fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate with a parade

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban and his wife Terry greet fans of the Crimson Tide during Saturday's parade to celebrate the 42-14 victory over Notre Dame to win the BCS title.

Fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide lined University Boulevard in Tuscaloosa for a parade to honor the team for its 42-14 victory over Notre Dame in the BCS national football championship. Members of the team walked along the parade route shaking hands with well-wishers and tossing out small souvenir footballs. One of the few players who rode included Jalston Fowler, who injured his knee during the Tide’s game against Western Kentucky in September. Saban was joined by his wife Terry, University of Alabama President Judy Bonner, and Athletic Director Mal Moore before the crowd.

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Politics & Government
7:00 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Remembering George Wallace...50 years later

University of Alabama

Today marks fifty years since the inauguration of Alabama Governor George Wallace. His speech featuring the phrase “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever,” is considered one of the pivotal moments of the civil rights movement in 1963. That year also saw the bombing at the 16th Street Baptist church in Birmingham and the “stand at the schoolhouse door” in Tuscaloosa. Alabama Public Radio’s Pat Duggins looks back at Wallace’s 1963 inaugural to produce this sound portrait. Observers note that Wallace had a change of heart later in his life and renounced racism.

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Arts & Life
7:54 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Alabama defeats Notre Dame to win BCS title

Alabama Coach Nick Saban, and players Eddy Lacy and C.J. Mosely talk with the press about the Tide's victory over Notre Dame in the BCS title game in Miami
apr

“Obviously, we wish the night could have ended in a different way” said Notre Dame star player Manti T’eo. “But, the season, the year, my career here, I’m been truly blessed by being at Notre Dame” “What the players accomplished, what the coaches accomplished, I think it’s really special,” said Alabama Coach Nick Saban. “I think when I’m sitting on the side of the hill watching the stream go by, I might even figure it out even more.” These are two very different perspectives of the same game in Miami.

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Arts & Life
9:09 am
Sun January 6, 2013

BCS Championship--dealing with the nerves

Alabama Coach Nick Saban takes questions from the press at the final news conference before the BCS Championship game in Miami
APR

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide and Notre square off for the BCS College Football Championship Monday night at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. Both teams have stories programs, with Knute Rockne and Ara Parseghian for the Fighting Irish, and Alabama with Bear Bryant and Nick Saban. However, both Saban and Notre Dame’s current coach Brian Kelly, point out that it will be a group of college-aged young people who will put on the pads and play before an international spotlight.

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Politics & Government
8:55 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Alabama rocket pioneer dies

frankenpost.de

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A member of Wernher von Braun's rocketry team in Alabama has died. NASA says Jesco von Puttkamer died Thursday after a brief illness. He was 79. Von Puttkamer moved to Huntsville in 1962 and worked with von Braun at the Marshall Space Flight Center. He was an engineer. Von Puttkamer transferred to NASA Headquarters in Washington in 1974. He most recently worked as a technical manager for the International Space Station. Von Puttkamer is survived by his wife, Ursula.

Politics & Government
7:54 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Cooper Green Hospital announces layoffs

Program Posts
12:26 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Thursday storms knock out power to 18,000

istockphoto

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Authorities say fierce thunderstorms knocked out power to 18,000 customers across Alabama and peeled the roofs from buildings in the Mobile area. Alabama Power spokeswoman Keisa Sharpe-Johnson says the outages were spread across the state, with about 8,600 in the hard-hit Mobile area. About 7,900 outages were in the western part of the state, which included Tuscaloosa, Jasper and Haleyville.

Arts & Life
7:26 am
Wed December 19, 2012

30 years of dining with Frank

Politics & Government
12:56 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Special coverage from NPR on the Connecticut School Shooting

Editor's note: Alabama Public Radio will take NPR's live coverage following the Connecticut school shooting at 1 pm.

Pat Duggins
News Director

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — An official with knowledge of a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school says 27 people are dead, including 18 children.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still under way.

State police Lt. Paul Vance says only that staff and students at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown are among the victims. He says the shooter was dead in the school.

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Arts & Life
8:54 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Football fans gear up for the Iron Bowl

Editor's Note: APR news will be tweeting updates of the Iron Bowl from Bryant Denny Stadium.

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Politics & Government
6:53 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Young voters talk about the Presidential race, and their futures

Breaking
3:16 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

U of A President Guy Bailey steps down

University of Alabama

University of Alabama President Guy Bailey today announced that he will be leaving his post at the school, citing family reasons.

Dr. Bailey asssumed leadership of the University of Alabama in early September, after the U of A Board of Trustees approved his hiring unanimously back in July.

University of Alabama President Guy Bailey’s statement:

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Politics & Government
8:27 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Study: Alabama College grads have debt with diploma

Istockphoto

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A study show that 44 percent of Alabama's college graduating class of 2011 finished with debt and the average amount was more than $25,000. Al.com reports the Alabama figure was below the national average of $26,600. The study by the Project on Student Debt found that the most indebted Alabama students graduated from Alabama A&M. Ninety-five percent of the Class of 2011 had debt, and the average was slightly more than $33,000. At Auburn University, 47 percent of the graduates had debt, and the average was nearly $24,800.

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