Clergy Corner, Feb. 24, 2017

A few things you should know about the Rev. AMY THOREN, pastor at St. Andrew's Lutheran in Campustown: "I love beer, enjoy wine and even put down the occasional cocktail."

But when it comes to what she's learned in her year here about the sloshfest known as Unofficial St. Patrick's Day, "my gut tells me I'm not a huge fan."

Cunningham home's new $14 million school to open in fall '18

URBANA — The Cunningham Children's Home will open the doors to a new $14 million school in the fall of 2018.

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.

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.

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.

#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.

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.

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.

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.