Jim Langfelder

A car in a Black Lives Matter parade passes in front of Springfield Police Department headquarters on Monroe Street.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Springfield faith and community activist groups called for commitments from the mayor and police chief to work with them to strengthen the police oversight commission and reinstate a requirement for police officers to live in the city.

frowning piggy bank
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Nearly 200 cities told the Illinois Municipal League that they expect to bring in less money from taxes on shopping, gaming, gas and other sources due to the coronavirus pandemic. The responses come from a survey conducted between June and July.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder signing a Declaration of State of Emergency
City of Springfield

Patrons of bars and restaurants must have an assigned table or seat, and shouldn’t leave their seats unless they’re going to the restroom or leaving.

A woman wounded in a workplace shooting in Springfield Friday died of her injuries, according to the Sangamon County Coroner.  Marsha Strumpher of Springfield, 54, had been hospitalized since the incident and died Saturday.  

A car in a Black Lives Matter parade passes in front of Springfield Police Department headquarters on Monroe Street.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Over the past three years, Springfield’s Police Community Review Commission has considered a single case. But there are differing thoughts on why the board has such a light caseload and if change is needed.

Rev. T Ray McJunkins speaks to the crowd on Sundy afternoon.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

In Springfield, demonstrations continued over the weekend against police brutality and racism sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police.

Many speakers addressed how to create change at a rally called “Manifesting Our Momentum,” where elected officials and faith leaders took a prominent role.

Olivia Mitchell/NPR Illinois

More than a thousand demonstrators shouting ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘No Justice, No Peace’ took to the streets in Springfield again Monday, demanding an end to racial injustices.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder signing a Declaration of State of Emergency
City of Springfield

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder announced Thursday the city will enforce Governor J.B. Pritzker's extended stay-at-home order, despite legal disputes for the state to reopen.

Essential Springfield businesses can download template signs and a social distancing policy from the city of Springfield’s website.

The city posted them to help businesses open during the stay-at-home order comply with an executive order recently signed by Mayor Jim Langfelder.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Every year, crowds of people flood the fairgrounds in Springfield anticipating entertainment at the Grandstand, corn dogs, shake-ups, and rides. But it’s unclear if the fair will go on this year. 

Signs inform customers of new policies at a County Market in Springfield.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Stores in Springfield are now required to post signs that encourage customers to wear a face mask, enter the store with no more than one other family member, and avoid bringing children.

The essential businesses that are allowed to stay open during Illinois’ stay-at-home order must also have written policies on social distancing for customers to follow and employees to enforce.

The rules build on statewide mandates and recommendations that aim to make necessary trips to the grocery store or pharmacy amid the COVID-19 pandemic as safe as possible.

Tape at a Walgreens in Springfield shows customers where to stand to stay 6 feet apart.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Many businesses are closed during Illinois' stay-at-home order. But grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential businesses in Springfield that can remain open must comply with new rules aimed at enforcing social distancing, or face a fine.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder signing a Declaration of State of Emergency
City of Springfield

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder has ordered local law enforcement to take “appropriate enforcement action” to keep residents from breaking the stay-at-home order.

State Rep. Mike Murphy (right), a Republican from Springfield, shakes hands with Gov. J.B. Pritkzer in this file photo from Jan. 29, 2020.
handout / Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Illinois acquired the former Vibra Hospital in Springfield on Friday to use for COVID-19 patients who need medical attention but not intensive care. Gov. J.B. Pritzker approved the acquisition in anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 patients, using powers under the state emergency declaration. 

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

On Wednesday, Erica Smith, the executive director of Helping Hands of Springfield, had a tough decision to make.

Washington Street Mission, which offers coffee, laundry and shower facilities, announced it is closing temporarily. St. John’s Breadline decided to hand out bagged lunches, instead of serving meals. Springfield’s Lincoln Library had closed its doors.

The closures follow new rules put in place by Illinois’ governor limiting the size of public gatherings and closing bars and dine-in restaurants. 

Springfield Municipal Center West
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

This post has been updated with a new statement from Lisa Badger.

Lisa Badger, a member of the Springfield Park District Board, confirmed she tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in a statement released to NPR Illinois Sunday.

She released a separate statement Monday asking for privacy and that people stop contacting her. She said she has received calls, emails, Facebook messages, including threats to sue her and comments aimed at her daughter.

Coronavirus Updates In Springfield And Central Illinois

Mar 12, 2020
hand sanitizer outside the governor's office suite in the Illinois State Captiol Building
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Updated 5:00 p.m., March 15

Illinois reported its first case of the novel coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, in January.

On Sunday afternoon, Illinois officials said the total number of cases in the state stands at 93.  There are cases in 13 counties, including in central Illinois.  

Three smoke stacks from Springfield's City Water, Light and Power sit on the lake.
Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Springfield utility officials presented their budget to aldermen Thursday. Utility leaders said the spending plan would change little if the city decides to shutter much of its coal plant.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Springfield officials want to make sure all residents participate in the upcoming census count.

The population count begins in March, when residents will get a letter asking them to fill out an online form about their household.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Months after a report advising the City of Springfield to shutter three of its four coal-fired generators, utility officials urged city leaders to make a decision about the future of the plant by January.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

There’s some new lighting and patched fencing around the abandoned Pillsbury Mills plant on the north end of Springfield. But residents say more work needs to be done to make the area safe. 

NPR Illinois went on a perimeter walk with them over the weekend and has this report.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

A community group wants the city of Springfield to take over the Pillsbury Mills Plant, tear it down and redevelop the site.

But, first, they want the city to make sure the area is closed off to trespassers.

Three smoke stacks from Springfield's City Water, Light and Power sit on the lake.
Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

The city of Springfield is hiring a consultant to help with a plan to shut down part of its coal plant. This comes months after a report found three of the four generators are no longer economically viable.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

A proposal for what to do with Springfield’s power plant could be announced in November. The plan would follow a report from the spring recommending the city shut down three of its four coal generators. 

Springfield residents from wards 5 and 6 asked questions about crime, homelessness, the  future of City Water, Light and Power, and Pillsbury Mills at a meeting Monday night.

Springfield Municipal Center West
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Springfield city leaders set the dates for public meetings in each ward. Dates, times and locations are below. This post will be updated as locations are announced.

To find out which ward you live in, you can search for your address at the Sangamon County Clerk’s website here.

Wards 5 & 6: Monday, October 28, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., Hanson Professional Services, 1525 S. 6th Street

Aaron- Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Springfield City Council wants to make sure the city’s many video gaming parlors are playing by the rules. 

Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) / Mike Mozart - Flickr

Springfield City Council members will likely vote next week in favor of restricting the use of e-cigarettes in public, work places and within 15 feet of entrances. 

The City of Springfield has grown. City council members Tuesday approved bringing into the city 51 acres of unincorporated land that is surrounded by city limits on all sides.  

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

 

Springfield’s City Council Tuesday made changes to a plan meant to develop the city-owned lot downtown known as the Y-Block. In addition to the empty lot, the proposal now includes development for any area downtown where the University of Illinois Springfield or Southern Illinois University want to establish a campus. 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Springfield Ward 2 Ald. Shawn Gregory was sworn in Tuesday night.

The recount process that landed Gregory the seat lasted more than three months. A drawing determined the winner after the city council declared the race between him and Gail Simpson, former council member and mayoral candidate, a tie.

Gregory said he’ll seek guidance and support from Simpson as well as those who voted for her.

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