Jim Langfelder

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 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.

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

Michael Cassidy makes eight or ten trips a day driving a semi truck between the coal mine in Williamsville and the power plant on Lake Springfield. He travels the 16 miles mostly on Interstate 55 with around two dozen tons of coal.

“Just back and forth all day,” he said while taking a break at a gas station off the interstate. “It’s a little boring yes.”

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Shawn Gregory is the new alderman for Springfield’s Ward 2. The decision came down to drawing a ping pong ball out of a bag.

Earlier in the evening, the Springfield City Council voted 9-0 to declare the race between Gregory and Ald. Gail Simpson a tie.

NPR Illinois

Fewer Springfield residents voted in Tuesday’s mayoral election than four years ago.

Around 25,000 voters cast ballots in Springfield’s mayoral race, which incumbent Jim Langfelder won, according to preliminary numbers from the Sangamon County Clerk’s office.

That’s around 2,000 fewer than voted in 2015, when he was first elected. Turnout was still around 35%.

Tom Holbrook – a political science professor at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee – studies turnout in municipal elections. He says that’s above the average of 25% among the cities he’s looked at.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Springfield voters gave Mayor Jim Langfelder a second term Tuesday.

He won out over Frank Edwards, a former alderman and fire chief, getting around 58% of the vote.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder is hoping to win re-election in next week’s city elections. He’s facing a challenge from a former alderman and fire chief, Frank Edwards.

The two have divergent views about the challenges the capital city is facing, and what to do about them.

Lee Milner / Illinois Times

Mayor Jim Langfelder is facing challenger Frank Edwards in Springfield city elections this spring. The candidates met on Friday in the campaign’s first forum.


UIS Brookens Library Archives

The site of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot could soon become a National Historic Monument.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Pickup trucks and construction equipment crowd the lawn of the Illinois Executive Mansion and the block across the street.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife, Diana, have raised the money for the $15 million mansion makeover, which is slated to be complete by the end of the summer. And the governor is eyeing the city-owned block, dubbed the “Y-block” for the YWCA that used to sit there, as an extension of that project.

NPR Illinois

In the wake of recent shooting deaths, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder has announced plans to get more kids into summer and night-time programming. So far $35,000 has been raised from local businesses to help in the effort.

flickr/Paul Sableman

Sean Crawford talks with Tim Landis, Business Editor of the State Journal-Register.

Barack Obama
Pool photo by Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

On Feb. 12 -- Abraham Lincoln's birthday -- officials released plans to salute another President with state ties.

Just days ago, on Wed., Feb. 10, President Barack Obama gave a major speech in Springfield, at the capitol, where he'd once served in the state Senate.

"Thank you for such a warm welcome as I come back home," he said to legislators' applause and hoots.

BarackObama/flickr

The fate of Illinois' budget impasse could be influenced by the leader of the free world. At least, that's what Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder is hoping for.

WUIS

Sean Crawford talks with State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

Credit David Wilson / davidwilson1949 via Flickr.com

An agreement announced Friday could pave the way for rail traffic in Springfield to be consolidated along 10th Street.

City of Springfield

News release from City of Springfield issued Friday 9/4/15:

Springfield, Illinois – Mayor Jim Langfelder announced today Robert “Barry” Helmerichs as the new Chief for the Springfield Fire Department.

Helmerichs joined the Springfield Fire Department in 1991 and served as a firefighter, driver-engineer, captain, deputy chief of technical services, and division chief in addition to serving as a faculty member with the fire science program at Lincoln Land Community College.  He was appointed Fire Chief in 2010 under then-Mayor Tim Davlin.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder is approaching three months in office.  He unseated Mike Houston and took over the role his own father, Ossie Langfelder, held for two terms - from 1987 to 1995. While the new mayor hasn't been in office long - he's had time to make appointments, and is working on initiatives like high speed rail, wind energy, and residential development downtown. He spoke with us about all that and more - and starts this interview telling us how the transition of administrations has been so far:  

WUIS

Kenny Winslow will remain as the City of Springfield's Police Chief, Mayor Jim Langfelder announced Tuesday. 

Winslow has been in the role since his appointment in 2013. 

Hearings were held in all the city's wards as the new administration considered other applicants.

The following news release was sent from the Mayor's office:

Springfield's new mayor is promising to work in a collaborative fashion to address the city's needs.  Jim Langfelder took the oath of office Thursday afternoon in a ceremony at Sangamon Auditorium.

He says his administration will be transparent and will work for all parts of the city.  He says his top priority is stabilizing the utility CWLP.  He also called for establishing wi fi downtown and developing a second water source.

WUIS

Springfield Mayor Mike Houston will leave office  Thursday, when his successor Jim Langfelder is sworn in.  

Langfelder won the primary in March and the April general election. 

Houston, who served two terms about 30 years ago, returned to city politics to win in 2011.  But voters denied his latest effort.  

Houston says he has told Langfelder that he will help him in the transition if asked:

"By the same token, I know he has a father who has served as mayor of Springfield for 2 terms, that he will be relying on very very heavily," he said.

Springfield candidate for mayor Jim Langfelder, the current City Treasurer, visited the WUIS studios for a conversation about the issues.  Langfelder talked about his vision for Springfield, including CWLP.

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