Springfield

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.

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.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

The city of Springfield is looking for feedback on proposals to change downtown parking. Three alternatives are on the table - installing meters that accept credit cards; removing meters in favor of kiosks; or using a mobile application drivers can use to locate and pay for parking.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

The City of Springfield’s inspector general will investigate claims of mistreatment of clients at the Winter Warming Center, Mayor Jim Langfelder informed the city council this week.

Still, faith leaders and those who volunteer at shelters took officials to task for not doing enough to address concerns at the emergency shelter.

On behalf of the city, the Salvation Army runs the Winter Warming Center, located at 1015 E. Madison Street, which provides a place to sleep and a meal for about 60 people who have nowhere else to go during the coldest months of the year.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Downtown Springfield is jammed with parking problems. Shoppers and tourists complain about a lack of nearby spots, while study after study shows occupancy rates for spots remain low.

Google Maps

Bringing a university presence to the downtown area has been under discussion for years.  But the latest concept dwarfs what has been on the drawing board previously. 

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.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

On the roof of the Kerasotes building in downtown Springfield, at the corner of Sixth and Washington streets, Michelle Knox shows off a 9.9-kilowatt array of solar panels.

“This system offsets about 25% of the building’s consumption,” she said.

Those savings make the monthly City Water, Light and Power bill lower than it would be without solar panels. And thanks to a system called “net metering,” CWLP gives the building owners a credit when the panels produce extra electricity, which goes back to the city grid.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

A traveling exhibit showcasing artwork by Syrian refugees living at the Zaa'tari refugee camp in Jordan is now open in Springfield.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

In an historic move, the Illinois State Museum in Springfield returned 42 cultural artifacts to Australian indigenous tribes Wednesday.

Jennifer Linzer

Kristine Bunch was only 22 in 1996 when she was charged with the murder of her 3-year-old son, Anthony, who died in a house fire in Decatur County, Indiana. She was exonerated in 2012 after serving 17 years of a 60-year sentence. 

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.


Sara Wojcicki Jimenez and Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

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

Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash

Entrepreneurs and job-seekers in central Illinois can mark their calendars for December 3 and 4, 2018. Facebook is bringing a two-day workshop to Springfield.

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Buying shoes, a new computer or even toilet paper online can be convenient and cheap, but officials in cities across central Illinois say it’s taking a bite out of their budgets.

Rachel Otwell

"I was shot, my car was stolen, it was not a good night." So says Kathryn Harris while explaining her try at being a police officer. Tonight she got in a patrol car and pulled over an officer/instructor who went through a couple of challenging scenarios, like the ones police face regularly.

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

The cemetery where Abraham Lincoln rests has a new monument, honoring troops and veterans awarded a Purple Heart.

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."

That quote, from Shakespeare's "Henry V" is inscribed on the new granite monument.

It's also etched with a drawing of the medal -- a heart, emblazoned with a profile of George Washington, that hangs from a purple ribbon.

Illinois Issues/WUIS

Next month, President Barack Obama will return to the place where his political career began -- Springfield, Illinois -- to address state legislators.


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

The former mayor of Springfield, Ossie Langfelder, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 89.

Bill Wheelhouse talks with long time State Journal Register political columnist Bernie Schoenburg about Langfelder.   

Also some oral history audio of Langfelder.

Check out Ossie Langfelder discussing his life.

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.

University of Illinois

Do you think downtown Springfield parking is a challenge? Study says about 50% of spaces are used.

That is among topics Bill and Tim discuss on this weeks biz report:

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Springfield has a great deal of Mexican and Asian restaurants - but it is lacking when it comes to some other ethnic foods. A relatively new African restaurant is bridging some of those gaps for local foodies with adventurous palates. Listen to the report:

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

UPDATE: Afaf Rashmawy tells us while there is still yet to be a buyer, Holy Land will close after Saturday, April 25th. Lunch and dinner will both be served that day.

flickr/brownpau

After being turned down for a video gambling license last year, the Springfield airport will try its luck again.

The Director of the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, Mark Hanna, says adding the gambling machines is an opportunity that needs to be explored.

"Just like any other non-aeronautical revenue opportunity, we feel we are doing the responsible thing in actually looking at all available sources of revenue that are out there to offset our expenses and tax burden," Hanna said.

HansenandYoung.com

On this week's WUIS / State Journal-Register Business Report, we discuss a one-time statehouse hangout that is on the auction block.  The former Baur's Restaurant is just south of the capitol complex. 

SJ-R Business Editor Tim Landis tells us the fact the auction has no minimum bid says something about the change in habits during legislative sessions.

We also discuss a judge's order that forces demolition of the Knox Flats building in Springfield and a financial update on Downtown Springfield Inc.

SJ-R.com

A project in downtown Springfield that was to revitalize a former church is now in the courtroom.  Tim Landis of the State Journal Register discusses that and some of the week's other stories.

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