Pat Duggins

The Thanksgiving travel season is here. And, many Alabamians will be hitting the road to visit family and friends. Triple A -Alabama says a big drop in gas prices will most likely impact travel conditions this weekend. Triple-A spokesman Clay Ingram says research shows that there is a point six percent increase in people traveling this year.


GOP Presidential hopeful Ben Carson will return to Alabama next week. The Republican contender will appear at the University of South Alabama Mitchell Center for a free rally next Thursday afternoon. There will be a fundraiser at a private residence afterward. Republican hopefuls Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Mike Huckabee have attended similar rallies in Alabama, as well as Democratic contender Hillary Rodham Clinton.  


All year long on Alabama Public Radio, we’ve been looking at water. Specifically, the APR news team is reporting on the condition of Alabama’s water supply and the health of our rivers. Alabama, by reputation, gets a generous amount of rainfall every year. But what happens when there’s not enough rain or if it falls at the wrong time. Irrigation may be a possible way for Alabama farmers to make more money when their crops come in.

The rumbling of tractors means harvest time is coming at the Dee River Ranch near Aliceville. If you want to see it all, you need a truck…

University of Alabama

The new president of the University of Alabama is settling in. Dr. Guy Bailey officially took over as leader of the Tuscaloosa campus. Bigger enrollment and more research are just two of his goals. Dr. Bailey says the University’s engineering and science departments may soon be the focus of greater research. The new president adds that the liberal arts could shine as well… “We’ve always had a great creative writing program here." says Bailey. "The English program is good…after all, it produced me!


The approach of Isaac put much of the northern Gulf coast on alert. Here in Alabama, the major concern was tropical storm force winds, the threat of spin up tornadoes, and flooding from storm surge. Homeowners in flood prone areas along Mobile Bay were placed under a voluntary evacuation order. But, not all residents with beach front property were able to move. Some were dug in…literally.


PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — NASA's Curiosity rover has beamed back its first color photo from the ancient crater where it landed. The view showed a pebbly landscape and the rim of Gale Crater off in the distance. Curiosity snapped the photo on the first day on the surface after touching down on Mars Sunday night. The rover took the shot with a camera at the end of its robotic arm, which remained stowed. The landscape looked fuzzy because the camera's removable cover was coated with dust that kicked up during the descent to the ground.


PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Cheers and applause echoed through the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena on late Sunday after the robotic explorer Curiosity signaled it had survived a harrowing plunge through the thin Mars atmosphere. The most high-tech interplanetary rover ever built touched down on the Martian surface inside of a giant crater after a tricky landing routine that included a series of braking tricks, a heat shield and a supersonic parachute.


Not every lesson on the football field involves passing or blocking.

Australia Network News

LONDON (AP) — The London Olympics opening ceremony had a cast of thousands — but it's a lone gatecrasher who is capturing media attention. Indian officials are mystified — and miffed — after an unknown woman managed to march with the country's delegation during the ceremony's athletes parade. Images from Friday's ceremony showed a young woman in blue trousers and a red jacket marching alongside Indian flag bearer Sushil Kumar at the head of the delegation of 40 athletes in bright yellow. Indian officials have complained to organizers about the intrusion.


MOSCOW (AP) — An unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft (similar to the one pictured here) has redocked with the International Space Station after an aborted attempt five days earlier. The Progress cargo ship had separated from the station a week ago to perform engineering tests and try out a new docking system and had been due to reconnect with the station on Tuesday. But problems developed with the avionics in the docking system. The second attempt early Sunday was successful. Video streamed from Russian mission control reported no problems.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A Jefferson County Circuit judge postponed an injunction hearing on the lawsuits against Birmingham school officials by the city and state superintendents. The Birmingham News reports that the postponements made Friday will give the school board a chance to decide whether to keep fight the lawsuits or settle. Circuit Judge Houston Brown says the injunction hearing will be postponed until Aug. 1. Brown agreed to delay the hearing that had been set for Monday.

The Best of The Best

Jul 25, 2012

The Alabama Public Radio news team traveled to the  National Press Club in Washington, D.C. last week to collect a national Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society for Professional Journalists. APR News Director Pat Duggins and reporters Maggie Martin, Ryan Vasquez, and Stan Ingold earned the honor for the Best Breaking News Coverage during the April 2011 tornadoes.    It is an honor well deserved!  

APR News

The Alabama Public Radio news team collected a national Sigma Delta Chi award at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. for best breaking news coverage of the Tuscaloosa tornado. News Director Pat Duggins was joined at the podium by reporters Ryan Vasquez, Maggie Martin and Stan Ingold for the presentation of the bronze medallion.

APR News Team

Jul 17, 2012

In Tuscaloosa this morning we awoke to horrible news.  You've probably all heard by now that there was a shooting here that left 17 people injured.  Of course, we were all asking ourselves a lot of questions.  Your APR News team was busy asking those questions of other people.

William Greider is a national affairs correspondent for The Nation.

Pretty soon we'll be obsessing full time over Mitt Romney's running mate selection, but until then I thought I'd weigh in one on Veepstakes story that's been making the rounds in recent days.

Alabama Public radio news director Pat Duggins reports on today's vote by the University of Alabama board of trustees to name Dr. Guy Bailey, of Texas Tech, as UA's new president. The appointment is a homecoming for Dr. Bailey, who earned a bachelors degree in Tuscaloosa, and then a masters in 1974.

All week long on Alabama Public Radio, the news department is revisiting the people we heard from in the hours and days following the April 27th tornadoes that struck the state a year ago. Last night, the Tuscaloosa city council approved rezoning in the areas hit hard by the storm. Pending a final vote, this will set the city's rebuilding plan into full motion. APR's Pat Duggins takes us to the small town in Kansas which helped pioneer the "green" rebuilding ideas that may take root here.


Apr 10, 2012

Alabama Public Radio has been recognized as one of the best in the country with a prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award! 

This award is given annually by the national Society of Professional Journalist.  Only ten media outlets earn these awards each year, so earning one is quite an accomplishment.

APR earned ours for the outstanding coverage our news team provided of damage caused by the April 27th tornadoes that ravaged Alabama in 2011.   

Congratulations to APR News Director Pat Duggins, Ryan Vasquez, Maggie Martin and Stan Ingold!  It is an honor well deserved.

Award Winners

Mar 15, 2012

At the recent Alabama Associated Press Awards banquet, Alabama Public Radio's news department racked up four awards!    Maggie Martin's story "The Battle for Fort Gaines" won for the Best Use of Sound.  Pat Duggins won three awards:  "Tornado Recovery" won for the Best Specialized Reporter, "Kiss that Fish!" won for Best Soft Feature and the 5 part series "Oil and Water" won for Best Public Affiars / Documentary. 

Kudos to Maggie and Pat for a job well done! 

His new book, "Trailblazing Mars," is a combination of history and prognostication. Duggins recounts our longtime powerful interest in the red planet, beginning with fictional treatments by writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G. Wells and Ray Bradbury, gives a sketch of the history of scientific ventures in that direction, and then writes about the different theories on how we might explore Mars, if indeed we decide to go forward with that very controversial, exciting, dangerous and expensive project.