Sangamon County

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Originally aired April 1, 2021.

The Women of Sangamon County: A History in ObjectsAn event from the Sangamon Experience featuring Illinois State Museum curator Erika Holst

Sangamon County Department of Public Health Director Gail O'Neill talks about the importance of flu shots during COVID-19 pandemic.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Sangamon County will begin Monday vaccinating seniors over 65 and essential frontline workers against COVID-19, the next priority group behind healthcare workers.

UIS Community Health Roundtable Webinar - Predicting the Cost of the Pandemic on the Economy & Recent Restrictions on Local Business

NPR Illinois

Massive layoffs and furloughs around the state will make it difficult for some to pay their property taxes on time.  Some Illinois counties are trying to ease the pain by delaying the mailing of the bills. Others have extended deadlines. And most common are counties waiving interest on late payments.  

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Testing for the novel coronavirus is still restricted in Sangamon County on Sunday, despite the first two confirmed cases being announced Saturday evening.

The two private hospitals in Springfield — Memorial Medical Center and HSHS St. John’s — have contracted with private companies to get test kits for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

But they have not begun using the tests, as the Illinois Department of Public Health still determines who should be tested, according to a St. John’s spokesperson.

Wikimedia Commons

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health is opening a phone line dedicated to answering questions about the new coronavirus, starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The number is (217) 321-2606.

The new hotline comes after a passenger on an Amtrak train that passed through Springfield later tested positive for COVID-19, the disease spread by the novel coronavirus.

UIS Survey Research Office

Sangamon County residents say they want to see more economic development and population growth. That’s according to a recent county-wide survey. 

NPR Illinois

Sangamon County voters will be asked if Capital Township – which is completely within city of Springfield limits – should merge with the county government.

But both city and county officials say their respective government is best positioned to take over the responsibilities.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

At the county health building in east Springfield, election judge trainees sit through a presentation and comb through packets of information.

On November 6, they’ll check voter rolls, hand out ballots and oversee counting machines.

One group at the training sticks out; about a dozen high school students sit together in the back of the room.

Sara Wojcicki Jimenez and Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation meant to bring state jobs back to Springfield.

Katie Buck / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Health centers in Illinois are forming partnerships with local food banks to offer fresh fruits and vegetables to some patients. With an estimated 1.5 million residents in the state classified as food insecure by the U.S. census, could this be a key approach to improving food access?

city-data

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

wikipedia

Hillary Clinton won big in Illinois last night, along with Tammy Duckworth in her race for the U.S. Senate. 

But Sangamon County voters showed their preference for Republicans.  

Donald Trump defeated Clinton in the county by a 50-41 percent margin. 

Republican Mark Kirk also topped Duckworth 53-41 percent. 

Leslie Munger, who lost her bid for Illinois Comptroller, also beat her opponent, Susana Mendoza, in Sangamon County.

SpringfieldRailroad.com

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

wikimedia.commons

 The Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois Springfield has released the Spring 2016 Sangamon County Economic Outlook Survey. 

The 2015 Sangamon County Citizen Survey indicates residents are generally in good health, with access to health care.  96% report having health insurance.  That's up about 7% from the last survey in 2013 and is a potential result of the federal health care law.

Fewer residents also say they are pessimistic about their personal finances, from 21% in 2013 to 13% now.

Education in the county, both public and private, got good marks.  More also say the county has strong leadership.

So why do the overall numbers show fewer positive ratings for life in Sangamon County?

Flickr/Images_of_money

The Springfield area is mirroring national statistics on home sales.     

The latest monthly report from the Illinois Association of Realtors shows February home sales in Sangamon county totaled 153. That is an increase of 4.1% over the same time last year.  Those numbers fall in line with national statistics showing an increase of 4.7% in existing homes.

Illinois's numbers overall weren't as good. Sales were by 1.7% statewide.

In Sangamon County, the median home price was nearly $2,000 lower then a year ago. The median price in Sangamon County was $116,900.

ilcourtclerks.org

After 19 years as the Sangamon County Circuit Clerk, Tony Libri is stepping down at the end of the month.

Libri, who also previously served as Sangamon County Auditor before becoming Circuit Clerk and made an unsuccessful run for Springfield mayor, did not give a reason for his retirement.  A statement says he will be able to spend more time with his family.

The Sangamon County Board will appoint a new circuit clerk to fulfill the remainder of Libri's term.  That post will then be up for election in 2016.

A new survey shows what Sangamon County residents think about their areas where they live.  Bill Wheelhouse talked with Ashley Kirzinger of the UIS Survey Research Office about the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission's Neighborhood Survey.

To view the survey click here

VisitSpringfieldIllinois.com

Historic sites. Abraham Lincoln. Food. Location. 

Whatever drives people to Springfield, the capital city is rebounding when it comes to tourism. 

flickr/justinshearer

The number of home sales in the Springfield area set a record last month.  The average price per home was also an all time high.

The real estate market continues to recover, coming out of the recession.  The Capital Area Association of Realtors says June numbers show a nearly 30 percent jump in homes being sold, compared to the same period a year ago.  And it's a good time be a seller.  The median home sale price was above $136,000.  Both are all time marks.  

It's possible the severe winter resulted in pent up demand.     

co.sangamon.il.us

Same sex couples in Sangamon County will be able to get their marriage licenses early.

Sangamon County Clerk Joe Aiello says his office will begin issuing marriage licenses on Friday in order to accommodate ceremonies taking place this weekend.  He says the office will be open during normal business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
However, Aiello says a couple's marriage won't be legally valid until the date the same-sex marriage law goes into effect, this Sunday.

Flickr/JimParker

Sangamon County employers have a positive outlook about the economy.  The University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office polls businesspeople twice a year for the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. 

This spring's results mark the first time since 2012 that expectations were as high.   However, just over half of  those responding expected employment to stay the same in the county in the next year.     

Hannah Meisel

  Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner says common perceptions about him have it all wrong: he's not against unions and he doesn't want to take away public workers' pensions. Rauner was in Springfield Tuesday for a Sangamon County Republican Foundation fundraiser.

Unions worked hard to prevent Rauner from getting the GOP nomination --- and why not. He constantly talked during the primary about how "government union bosses" were to blame for much of Illinois' ills.

But since he became the nominee, I've yet to hear him publicly use the phrase. I asked him:

WUIS/Lee Strubinger

The Sangamon County Auditor says his experience at the county level makes him most qualified to be the city's top executive.

Spring rain held off at Lincoln Park as Paul Palazzolo officially announced his intent to run for mayor of Springfield next year.

Palazzolo served as Sangamon County Auditor since 2002 and says he has a track record of transparency.
Four years ago he said he was running for mayor, but dropped out after failing to get the backing of the county's GOP organization.  The mayor's office is officially non-partisan.    

springfield.il.us

The company that manages Springfield's workers comp caseload wants to go outside the county for a key hire.  City aldermen questioned that move last night.

The contract with Triune Health Group says the nurse representative it used must be in Sangamon County.  The company says the job is highly specialized and it can't find anyone within the county who is qualified.

Instead, the firm wants to use a nurse in Macon County.  Some aldermen at the committee of the whole meeting were left scratching their heads, since the Springfield area has a wealth of healthcare workers. 

Voters in four Illinois communities, including Rochester, go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to give their  town councils  more power. 

The villages want to become home rule communities, which gives them more authority to raise taxes and pass laws.  The Illinois Association of Realtors is against the change.   Association President Phil Chiles says if voters approve home rule, they could regret it later.

co.sangamon.il.us

The Sangamon County Clerk says he's still unsure it would be legal for him to issue same sex marriage licenses before a new law takes effect in June. 

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says a court ruling in Cook County opened the door for all Illinois' county clerks to issue the licenses immediately.  Some have started doing so.  But there are differences of opinion.  Like in Sangamon County, Clerk Joe Aiello says he's waiting.

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has confirmed  at least 7 tornadoes developed in central and east central Illinois  during the late afternoon hours of February 20th.  Two reports of the confirmed  tornadoes were in Sangamon County. An NWS Lincoln damage assessment team is  still out doing surveys on the other tornadoes.
 
 
  .Divernon, IL Tornado (Sangamon County)...
 
  RATING:                 EF-0
  ESTIMATED PEAK WIND:    80 MPH
  PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/:  0.2 MILES
  PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/:   75 YARDS
  FATALITIES:             0

Source=http://www.flickr.com/photos/senoranderson/2245216631

It might surprise you to learn Sangamon County ranked 80th out of 102 Illinois counties when it pertains to health outcomes.  That's according to a survey by the County Health Rankings and Roadmap program.

After all, Springfield is known for quality medical care.  But apparently, more work can be done. 

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