#TheMJs, Feb. 24, 2017

On Fridays, staff writer Marcus Jackson (@MarcusJ_NG) will provide a quick glance at the best that Twitter has to offer.



Urbana Fire Department hopes diversity is in the cards

URBANA — In an effort to increase staff diversity, the Urbana Fire Department hosted a breakfast Thursday for influential community members who can recruit and recommend potential firefighter candidates.

Limited time for Taco Bell's chicken-shelled chalupa almost up

IRVINE, Calif. — A Taco Bell treat that has a shell made entirely of fried chicken will vanish from the fast-food chain's menu despite its popularity.

Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch said the Naked Chicken Chalupa was always planned as a limited-time offer and will be taken off the menu in March.

Champaign chamber favors selling county nursing home

CHAMPAIGN — The board of directors of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is on record in opposition to a property-tax increase to benefit the financially struggling Champaign County Nursing Home, and is in favor of selling the institution to a private operator.

Want to find out what maple sugaring boils down to?

East Central Illinois residents don't have to go to Vermont for maple syrup.

Pure maple syrup, that is.

"Most of the syrups at the grocery store are made with corn syrup. Then they add a little maple flavoring," said Charles Rhoden, superintendent of Forest Glen Preserve, which has been producing maple syrup commercially in 1984.

Legislative update: House panel OKs limits on nursing home arbitration mandates

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois nursing homes would not be allowed to present so-called "pre-dispute agreements for binding arbitration" to residents upon admission, under a bill approved Thursday by the House Human Services Committee.

UI gets $1.8 million from CDC to study bug-borne diseases

URBANA — The U.S. is not as well prepared to deal with illness spread by insects as most people may think.

That's what a $10 million grant spread over five Midwestern universities, including the University of Illinois, is all about, said a researcher who will be leading work on vector-borne illness at the UI over the next five years.

Hoopeston's Lorraine Theatre lighting up tonight

HOOPESTON — The historic — and darkened — movie theater here will have bright lights tonight.

Alas, but not for a movie showing.

Instead, the Lorraine will feature up-and-coming 17-year-old singer Jani Massey and her band.

Illini Veterans helping comrades affected by Danville fatal fire

URBANA — When University of Illinois student and Marine veteran Jason Sakowski heard about a fatal fire in Danville that claimed the life of one veteran and displaced others, he wanted to do something to help.

"It sounded so horrible," said Sakowski, coordinator for Veteran Student Support Services on the UI campus.

Longtime Champaign County Board member resigns

URBANA — On the same night that residents of County Board District 1 got a new representative to replace a board member who resigned last month, the district's other representative resigned.