Don’t get left behind: Local 10 offers 2 new features to help keep you in the loop

Do you ever wake up, grab your phone and think to yourself, “What did I miss?” Or have you ever stepped away from your computer or tablet for more than a few minutes and asked yourself a similar question?

It’s natural to want to stay “in the know,” as they say. And our team at Local 10 wants to help you do just that — which is why we’ve introduced some cool new features.

Maybe you’ve spotted this already, but starting Wednesday, when you signed in to our site, did you notice that you can now view a list of all the breaking news alerts that were sent while you were away? Just open up the tray from your profile button in the top right to see them.

In this stream of updates, you will also see any comments on stories you’ve been following, along with updates from commenters you’re tracking. We think you’ll find these changes to be major upgrades.

We want to make sure you don’t miss a beat, especially when it comes to the stories, reports and weather updates that matter the most to you.

One more thing to mention: When you log in to the site using a Chrome or a Firefox browser, you will now have an option to turn on or subscribe to desktop alerts. Have you used these before? They’re very easy to set up, and you’ll be glad you did. Desktop alerts are just like push notifications sent from our mobile app, except that they arrive on your computer and direct you to the website. Whether you’re in the office or on a home computer, you’ll wonder what you did before you had this option.

In the future, we expect this to function on other browser types, as well. So if you prefer something such as Safari, hang tight!

As news breaks and stories shape our local communities, the nation and the world, our readers and viewers are an important piece of the puzzle. We never want you to feel left out. It should be easy for you to participate in our conversations and stay on top of the stories that count the most in your world.

So what do you think? We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Local 10 News’ Calvin Hughes traces family’s past through DNA evidence

Local 10 News anchor Calvin Hughes is learning about his past, thanks to modern-day technology that can help him trace his genealogy.

“So what do you think of embarking upon this journey to learn more about your family history?” genealogist Marlis Humphrey asked.

“Oh, my, let’s see, I’m a little nervous about it,” Hughes said. “I’m curious. There’s a mystery side of it that I’m looking forward to sort of uncovering.”

Humphrey and DNA expert Diahan Southard can help people fill in the branches of their family trees.

With a swab of the cheek, several companies, including Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA, can trace a person’s genealogy.

“It allows this almost tangible connection with our ancestors because you are a walking, living, breathing record of them,” Southard told Hughes.

His DNA shows he is 80 percent African, mostly from the western part of the continent, which means that someone in his past likely came through the slave trade.

“It’s very emotional to think about, you know, where I am now versus where my family members were and how they were just seen as a piece of property,” Hughes said.

His DNA also revealed European roots — 10 percent British and 10 percent Irish.

“Are you sure it’s not Calvin O’Hughes?” Hughes asked, laughing.

There were more surprises to come.

Hughes launched this journey armed with a family history of his great-grandfather, Ernest Lee Hughes, lovingly referred to as “Big Poppa.”

“So he has this wonderful document … and it put some good biographical information in about Big Poppa, which are kinds of things that we don’t find necessarily from the records alone,” Humphrey said.

The records revealed that Big Poppa was the first black man given the right to vote in Scott County, Missouri. Hughes’ great-grandfather was also instrumental in getting government housing for sharecroppers.

He also learned that Big Poppa had not two, but three, wives. His first wife died in 1910.

“This sounds almost like ‘Dynasty’ or ‘Dallas’ or something,” Hughes said.

Humphrey and Southard uncovered some things that Hughes never knew, but also corrected family lore. It’s information he can’t wait to share.

“We have a family reunion coming up in June in Chicago, so this will help me share this information with them,” Hughes said.

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