WUFT News

Search for Ancestors Finds Popularity with County Residents

By on October 14th, 2014 | Last updated: October 14, 2014 at 11:40 am

When Kathy McCarthy Dugan’s mother encouraged her to find out more about the family tree, she didn’t realize she’d still be adding to all of her research eight years later.

“She was dying,” McCarthy Dugan said of her mother, Dorothy McCarthy. “We sat down several afternoons and talked about the family history and how far back it went — each branch, what she knew — and basically, what she knew started me on my journey.”

McCarthy Dugan isn’t alone in the search for family history.

Residents across Alachua County are heading to local libraries and the Family History Center at the Mormon Church in Gainesville to take advantage of the free-of-charge genealogy collection and databases.

In honor of Family History Month in October, Sylvia Ashwell, Alachua County genealogy librarian, is even offering the community introductory genealogical seminars to teach people how to work with the library’s materials.

“I’ve noticed that more and more patrons are trying to find out who their ancestors were by using our online databases, Ancestry.com Library Edition and Heritage Quest,” Ashwell said. “I wanted to be able to reach these and other people who wanted to start finding out more about their family by showing them these resources and what else we have available.”

Although the participation in Ashwell’s seminars varies week to week, sometimes with as few as five in attendance and sometimes as many as 30, independent pursuit of the history of individuals’ family trees is something eager residents in the community can’t seem to get enough of.

McCarthy Dugan is just one example of a county resident making huge strides in her search.

She was inspired to continue with her research because of what a character her great-grandfather was according to her mother.

Kathy McCarthy Dugan enters her grandfather’s name through another search engine before pulling up a type of registration card assigned to him during World War II.

Kathy McCarthy Dugan enters her grandfather’s name through another search engine before pulling up a type of registration card assigned to him during World War II.

After reviewing his records, she was contacted about an honor being presented to her great-grandfather, which she would have never known about if it hadn’t been for her discoveries through the center.

“All of a sudden, an individual through Ancestry.com contacted me from this New Jersey state corrections office institution where my great-grandfather was a policeman,” McCarthy Dugan said. “He was looking into individuals who fell in the line of duty who were skipped being recognized, and from there, he provided me with all of the articles that he had looked up on my great-grandfather.”

Shortly after, McCarthy Dugan learned of a marble plaque being put in her great-grandfather’s name in New Jersey in September 2013 and in Washington, D.C. in May 2013.

McCarthy Dugan said she believes the individuals who contacted her about her great-grandfather’s plaque were motivated to do so after they saw how active she was in the databases.

Rita Galloway, a worker at the Family History Center, explained now more than ever before is the best time for people to find out more about their roots because the center helps individuals gain access to microfilms about their families that can be viewed through their microfilm readers.

She said finding out about your family history can be exciting no matter where you are in your search.

“I especially love the beginners,” Galloway said. “You only begin once, and family history is never-ending.”

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Here Are The Three UF Presidential Finalists

By on October 13th, 2014 | Last updated: October 14, 2014 at 12:43 pm

The search for the University of Florida’s next president was narrowed from 15 candidates to three on Monday morning. The three finalists will be publicly interviewed on Tuesday, and the UF Presidential Search Committee will then forward recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

The three presidential candidates include W. Kent Fuchs, Ph.D., of Cornell University, David W. McLaughlin, Ph.D., of New York University and Sibrandes Poppema, Ph.D., of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

All of the finalists have strong academic backgrounds, as top executives for their universities or chief academic officers:

Kent Fuchs, Cornell University

Wesley Kent Fuchs, Ph.D.

Wesley Kent Fuchs, Ph.D.

Wesley Kent Fuchs, 59, is the provost for Cornell University. Fuchs received his doctorate in 1985 from the University of Illinois and is a former professor in the areas of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois and Purdue University.

Fuchs served as a professor and the Joseph Silbert Dean of the College of Engineering at Cornell University from July 2002 to Dec. 2008 and has been a provost and professor since Jan. 2009. As provost at Cornell University, Fuchs’ accomplishments include leading Cornell’s New York City Tech Campus and developing Cornell’s strategic plan for achieving academic preeminence as one of the world’s top 10 universities.

However, Fuchs’ plan to move the African Studies and Research Center at Cornell from autonomous control to under the direction of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences caused fierce debates from the center’s faculty, students and staff in 2011.

Fuchs is married to Linda A. Fuchs, who taught at the King’s Academy in West Palm Beach before the couple met in seminary.

David McLaughlin, New York University

David Warren McLaughlin, Ph.D.

©NYU Photo Bureau: Asselin

David Warren McLaughlin, Ph.D.

David Warren McLaughlin, 70, is provost at New York University. Since receiving his doctorate from Indiana University in 1971, McLaughlin has worked as assistant professor and professor at several universities including Iowa State University, University of Arizona, Princeton University and New York University.

McLaughlin’s specialization includes mathematical neuroscience, applied mathematics and nonlinear waves. As provost, McLaughlin provided the academic leadership to establish two new degree-granting research universities: NYU, Abu Dhabi and NYU, Shanghai. McLaughlin also directed the expansion of the arts and sciences faculty in New York by over 100 people and enhanced the academic facilities for the New York campus.

McLaughlin is married to Ruth Ann McLaughlin and is a father of four.

Sibrandes Poppema, University of Groningen

Sibrandes Poppema, Ph.D.

Sibrandes Poppema, Ph.D.

Sibrandes Poppema, 65, is president at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Poppema trained as a physician and pathologist in the Netherlands, Germany and the United States and has a doctorate in the immunopathology of Hodgkin’s disease.

Poppema was first appointed as the JK de Cock chair of Immunopathology in 1985 and has since served as a specialist and clinician scientist in various institutions. Poppema has served as director of laboratory medicine at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Groningen, where he has been president since 2008.

Fuchs, McLaughlin and Poppema will be interviewed by the board on Wednesday before the 12th president-elect is announced.

 

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Oct. 13, 2014: Afternoon News In 90

By on October 13th, 2014 | Last updated: October 13, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Taylor Trache produced this update. 

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In The News: Vatican Proposes Shift In Relationship With Gay Members, Florida Colleges Avoiding Sunshine Law, Growler Bill Victory For Microbreweries, Sea Turtles On Rise In Florida

By on October 13th, 2014 | Last updated: October 13, 2014 at 5:13 pm
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Water-Saving Technologies And Conservation Goals Cut Confusion

By on October 13th, 2014 | Last updated: October 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Turning off the water while brushing your teeth and taking shorter showers are some of the more common ways people try to use less water.

However, are those two minutes with the water off actually making a difference in the water conservation process?

Indiana State University conducted a survey that found some confusion in terms of water conservation. According to the survey, most people underestimate the amount of water they use on a daily basis. They also believe cutting back on their water usage is the most effective way to save water, as opposed to replacing appliances and fixing leaks.

Amy Carpus, an efficiency program coordinator at Gainesville Regional Utilities, said the small efforts add up, but it is even more important to understand your consumption.

“The best message is to be aware of what you are doing and how much water it is actually using, and then go from that point,” Carpus said. “Learn what you’re doing now and figure out ways you can trim where you are comfortable trimming your water use, and then slowly work your way toward the stuff that you’re maybe not willing to do.”

By shortening a 10-minute shower down to five minutes, Carpus said you can save close to 1,000 gallons of water per person per month in the household, but you should always shoot to reach a higher conservation goal.

However, if you want to reach that higher goal, you have to be willing to spend an extra buck.

Appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and toilets are starting to be made with new water-saving technologies that come with a price. New low-flow toilets now use less than two gallons of water per flush.

About half of water consumption is also used outside on lawns and landscaping. Instead of using the drinking water taken from the aquifers to water yards, GRU has about 1,500 customers using reclaimed water for irrigation. This process serves as a way to help preserve aquifers and to replenish the water taken from them.

The water reclamation process is actively putting back thousands of gallons of water into the aquifers to replenish their levels.

As a whole, GRU’s residential customers use only 71 gallons of water per person per day, as opposed to the national average of 109 gallons.

“I think a lot of people do know how to efficiently conserve water, but it’s a matter of balancing your knowledge with what you’re willing to pay for,” Carpus said.

Although the small efforts of taking shorter showers and turning off the water while brushing your teeth do make a difference, they are not as efficient as water-saving technologies. Those who want to make a bigger difference will find the best way to do it is to understand their water consumption, set a conservation goal and reach it.

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Two Hit On University Avenue

By on October 13th, 2014 | Last updated: October 13, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Christopher Olson and Audrey Clark were struck by a vehicle on Friday around midnight when they crossed W University Avenue against the light.

According to an email from Gainesville Police Department spokesman Ben Tobias, an eastbound vehicle struck Olson and Clark as they crossed at 17th Street. Both pedestrians hit the vehicle’s windshield before landing on the road.

Clark, 20, was conscious at the scene but suffered head injuries, and Olson, 21, lost consciousness due to heavy blood-loss from the back of the head. Their injuries were serious but not life-threatening, and they were both taken to UF Health Shands Hospital.

Tobias said GPD does not know if anyone involved was intoxicated. Toxicology results will be available in 6 to 8 weeks.

The driver involved was traveling down University Avenue at about 30 mph and had the green light. Olson and Clark did not have the signal to cross the street, and other pedestrians were waiting at the intersection when the pair decided to cross, according to the email from Tobias. Multiple witnesses confirmed the account provided by GPD.

GPD’s investigation did not indicate any violations on the driver’s part; however, Tobias anticipates both Olson and Clark will be cited for pedestrian violations.

 

Erica A. Hernandez contributed to this report.

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Gainesville Officials Educated on Ebola Safety Procedures

By on October 13th, 2014 | Last updated: October 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm

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UF Breaks Ground On New Chemistry Building

By on October 13th, 2014 | Last updated: October 13, 2014 at 1:53 pm

The University of Florida broke ground Friday on its new chemistry and chemical biology building, which is expected to cost $67 million.

With nearly 40 percent of freshmen enrolled in general chemistry classes, the new building is expected to enhance the learning experience for a large number of students.

“With the new labs, lecture halls and the spaces for studying and advising that we are going to get in this new building,” said UF President Bernie Machen, ”the light will only intensify as this university continues to move forward.”

The old chemistry building, which opened its doors in 1906, will be renovated as soon as the new building is up and running.

This is one of at least six major construction projects on campus, each costing tens of millions of dollars.

Current projects include a new dorm, a new building for the business college and the Reitz Union expansion. Upcoming projects still in the design phase include a complete renovation of the O’Connell Center and a showcase facility for engineering students.

The dorm, business building and Reitz Union expansion are expected to be complete by Fall 2015. Students will also have the option to choose from another residential hall, Cypress Hall.

Together, the projects will cost more than $160 million.

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Oct. 13, 2014: Morning News in 90

By on October 13th, 2014 | Last updated: October 13, 2014 at 10:49 am

Michelle Manzione produced this update.

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In The News: Crist To Increase Medicaid, Creepy Clowns Scare Californians, Orange County To Address Gay Marriage, Hospitals Increase Ebola-related Protocols

By and on October 13th, 2014 | Last updated: October 13, 2014 at 10:47 am
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