COVID-19 vaccination site at the Illinois State Fairgrounds
Hannah Meisel / NPR Illinois

Update, 3:25 p.m.: This post was updated with new information from Memorial and additional information on who is eligible under IDPH guidelines. 

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health announced Tuesday it is expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone 16 or older for its vaccination clinics at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and at the county health department. The expanded eligibility is only for the county sites.

Springfield Municipal Center West
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Under a program recently approved by the Springfield City Council, minority-owned businesses and residents on the city’s east side will have access to grants funded by city taxes on recreational cannabis.

Springfield’s Ward 3 has a new representative to the city council. Ald. Roy Williams, Jr., was sworn in Tuesday night after the council approved his appointment with no dissenting votes.

Six aldermen changed their votes after the council rejected his initial appointment a few weeks ago.

Williams will serve out the remainder of State Sen. Doris Turner’s term, who resigned the seat last month after her appointment to the Illinois Senate.

Springfield Municipal Center West
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

When Tanner Fry’s youngest son was born two years ago, Fry appreciated the time he got to spend with the baby, so much that the middle-of-the-night diaper changes didn’t bother him.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder speaks at news conference addressing recent gun violence in the city.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder clarified Tuesday night comments he made about a video showing Ward 2 Ald. Shawn Gregory in a physical altercation with another man.

Ward 2 Ald. Shawn Gregory speaks at a news conference Friday addressing recent gun violence in Springfield.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder and Teresa Haley, president of the Springfield and Illinois chapters of the NAACP, voiced support for Ward 2 Ald. Shawn Gregory after a video was published of him in a fight.

Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow discusses recent gun violence at a news conference Friday.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Sixteen people have been shot in Springfield in the last two months, according to city police. Usual numbers for this time of year are between two and three people per month.

A couple dozen Springfield leaders gathered across the street from the site of a recent deadly shooting Friday to renounce the violence and call for solutions.

Briana Rodriguez, who works at Ascend Springfield, talks about the effort to unionize.
UFCW Local 881's Facebook page

Employees at a cannabis dispensary in Springfield are voting on whether to unionize.

Workers at Ascend Springfield’s downtown location said Wednesday that lax COVID-19 precautions and a lack of guaranteed sick time during the pandemic pushed them towards organizing.

Originally aired January 15, 2021.

Gemma Long is the CEO of Gem PR & Media. This company specializes in public relations, digital, and social media consultancy. The company is based in Springfield but has clients across the United States and Europe. Gemma and husband Chris Long credit "community over competition" as a mantra they live by. A large part of their business is to foster relationships and collaboration with local business owners. Gemma talks about small businesses in Springfield, embarking on a new venture, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

City of Springfield

The Springfield City Council rejected the mayor’s nominee to fill the Ward 3 vacancy on the council, despite support from faith and community leaders.

Karen Penning and her late husband Matt Penning have been friends of the station for many years. Karen was born and raised in Springfield and is also a former teacher. She talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Just days into their two-week plan to allow bars and restaurants to continue indoor service despite Gov. JB Pritzker’s order to curb COVID-19’s rapid resurgence in the region, Sangamon County and Springfield officials are reversing course.

Sheridan Lane headshot

Sheridan Lane  is the Director of Culinary Program and Operations in the Culinary & Hospitality Center of Excellence at Lincoln Land Community College. 

Springfield Municipal Center West
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

A package of police reform proposals is on a path to final passage after Springfield City Council members made changes to the ordinance Tuesday night. The sponsors said the changes removed opposition, and aldermen placed the ordinance on their agreed-upon agenda for next week’s meeting.

Mike Smith / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

On Tuesday nights Jennifer Moore and her children pile into their van and make a stop at a church doing a grocery give-away. They then drop the bags off to people who respond that they need food in the Springfield Families Helping Families group on Facebook.

Ald. Shawn Gregory speaks at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in May.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

After a summer of anti-police brutality demonstrations, two Springfield city council members are proposing a bigger role for the police oversight commission and spelling out use-of-force rules, among other changes.

Protesters in a Black Lives Matter car parade on May 31 in Springfield.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

The Springfield City Council approved an anti-racism, anti-violence and anti-hatred resolution Wednesday night that would name May 31 as BLM Solidarity Day in honor of the recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Springfield Municipal Center West
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Springfield Ald. Joe McMenamin again apologized Tuesday night for comments he made at last week’s city council meeting, which sparked a wider conversation about race and unconscious bias.

Masks on statues of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln in downtown Springfield
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Ryan Bandy would post photos on social media of patrons packing his bars in Springfield.

“That was my proudest moments, when you see a lot of people in your business having a good time,” Bandy said. “Now, it's bad to do that. It's wrong to have a packed business. And rightfully so.”

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.

Protesters march on Capitol Avenue in Springfield Monday against police brutality. The rally and march were organized by young people.
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

On Monday, Allaijah Davis and her friends Nykeyla Henderson and Ariona Fairlee led an estimated 1,000 peaceful demonstrators down Capitol Avenue in Springfield.

Black Lives Matter protesters march down Sixth Street in downtown Springfield.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

At Tuesday’s Springfield City Council meeting, several officials praised protesters who took the streets in the capital city for being peaceful. A few amplified the message of speakers at the anti-police brutality protests.

Ald. Shawn Gregory speaks at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in May.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Thousands of cars circled downtown Springfield Sunday afternoon to protest recent police killings.

SUPER GG RADIO - School eSports with Dalton McGhiey

May 27, 2020

The boys at Super GG Radio sat down with Springfield Public Schools eSports coach Dalton McGhiey to talk about how this program came about, what he loves most about it and what the future holds. #NPR #FRN #SuperGGRadio #esports

Featuring: Alex Orona, Joel DeWitte & Dalton McGhiey




Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rises, Sangamon County declared the county a disaster area this week, loosening rules for hiring and purchasing.

County Administrator Brian McFadden said the move will allow them to more quickly hire personnel or buy other equipment without having to wait for a county board meeting to approve it.

Springfield And Central Illinois Cancellations And Closures

Mar 16, 2020
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This post is for updates on what’s closed and canceled in Springfield and central Illinois. 

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Sangamon County health officials are limiting the number of participants at large public gatherings, hours after the St. Patrick's Day parade was canceled.

Beginning Saturday and for the next 30 days, all indoor events will be limited to 250 people and outdoor events will be limited to 500. The order will be reassessed in early April as the coronavirus situation develops, health officials said.

Dr. Brian Miller, president of the Sangamon County Board of Health, said at a news conference Thursday afternoon the measures are precautionary and meant to protect residents.

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.  

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

As the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois continues to rise - as of Tuesday afternoon, 19 people have contracted the disease - social service agencies and hospitals are taking steps to protect the people they serve.