Mary Hansen

Reporter

Mary reports for NPR Illinois and Illinois Issues. She graduated from the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she spent a legislative session covering statehouse news for The Daily Herald. Previously, Mary reported for The State Journal-Register, covering city government. She received her BA in International Studies from American University. 

W. WADAS / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Springfield residents appreciate the city’s connection to the 16th U.S. president, but they hope to move beyond that, according to officials who developed a 20-year plan for the city.

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.

UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield plans to establish a center to study President Abraham Lincoln and his continuing relevance.

The initiative is one of several priorities for a $40 million fundraising campaign the university launched Tuesday.

JEFF SHARP / FLICKR

Producing electricity at Springfield’s coal-fired power plant instead of buying it on the wholesale market cost customers $261 million over the last nine years, according to an analysis commissioned by the local chapter of the Sierra Club.

The analysis showed that the city-owned utility, City Water, Light and Power, would have been better off buying power from the grid instead of producing it, said Tommy Vitolo, a senior associate with Cambridge-based Synapse Energy Economics, Inc., and the report’s author.

Bill Mathews / City Water, Light and Power

A  dozen linemen from Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power repaired electricity lines Thursday in the hurricane-damaged town of Lake Worth, Florida, about 60 miles north of Miami.

The crews arrived Tuesday to assist in restoring power to tens of thousands of residents after Hurricane Irma swept through the city.

“We kind of have to help each other out because you can’t staff enough workers for a storm like this,” said Bill Mathews, a CWLP supervisor. “Maybe we have an ice storm some time and they come up here and give us a hand.”