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YMCA planning new gym, committed to staying in Downtown Springfield

Staff Contributor



The Springfield YMCA has been in discussions with Memorial Medical Center to build another new facility that would remain in Downtown Springfield, the question is… where?

These rumored negotiations are just preliminary discussions that have been going on since early 2017, so it’s not fair to say any of this information is fact or actually going to happen. But under the new plan, Memorial would supply land it owns at the intersection of 4th and Carpenter streets, and the current Y property would get handed over to the Dana Thomas Foundation.

Representatives from the YMCA have been reluctant to pass along any specific facts regarding the private negotiations, and officials from Memorial are mum to the word.

So all we really know now is: there’s a new YMCA coming soon at some point in the future, it will be in Downtown Springfield, and most likely will be located by Memorial, and would include the same amenities as the current facility does: pool, locker rooms, gym, etc.

We’ll provide a more formal announcement, when the details are finalized and specific. Learn more about our local Y and all the programs they offer at

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Illinois’ bicentennial beer now on shelves



Images from Hand of Fate Brewing Company Facebook Page

The latest birthday gift to the people of Illinois comes in a 12-ounce can – the state’s bicentennial beer is now on store shelves.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and members of the state’s Bicentennial Commission cracked the first cans of the 1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale on Wednesday in Springfield.

The governor said not only is the beer good, it shows what can still be made in the state.

“This year, we celebrate our 200th birthday,” the governor said. “We’ll celebrate our bicentennial by celebrating everything that is born, built and grown in the great state of Illinois.”

The beer is brewed by the Hand of Fate Brewing Co. out of Petersburg.

It won a competition at last year’s Illinois State Fair to become Illinois’ official 200th birthday beer.

Hand of Fate owner Mike Allison said he’s happy to have his relatively new success story be part of Illinois’ long legacy.

“It’s overwhelming, and a little bit mind blowing, to think that two years ago we were just opening a small brewery,” Allison said.

Allison said 1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale uses Illinois crops including corn, wheat and oats.

Reviews say the beer has some aromatic nose bursts with bubblegum, clove and white peppercorn.

Article by Benjamin Yount. For more Illinois News Network content, visit 

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2018 Election

Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray announces early voting office hours through March 19th

Staff Contributor



Photo courtesy of Don Gray, Facebook Page

Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray, said the “early voting center” in the clerk’s office (Room 101) of the Sangamon County Complex, has been set up to accommodate more voters than in the past during the early voting period. In-person early voting hours at the office already started and are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through March 9. The hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 12-16 and March 19. Weekend hours for early voting at the office include: 9 a.m. to noon March 3 and 10; 10 a.m to 4 p.m. March 11 and 18; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 17.

GET OUT AND EARLY VOTE! #election2018 #illinois #sangamoncounty#springfieldil

To vote early, a person must be a registered voter. They can register at the office, and to do so, two forms of identification, including one with the person’s current address, are needed. Online voter registration also is available via the office website. Learn more about voting, and how to register or early vote at

Election Day hours at polling places on March 20 will be as in the past — 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Learn more about the 2018 Election, and the races that matter in Central Illinois at our ELECTION HEADQUARTERS page.



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Salmonella outbreak associated with sprouts served at Jimmy John’s in Illinois, announced by the IDPH

Eric Broughton



SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and other state and local health departments, is investigating a recent cluster of Salmonella ser. Montevideo infections. Two cases have been identified in Illinois residents. People in Illinois reported becoming ill on December 20 and 26, 2017. Based on a review of produce, suppliers, and items consumed, investigators believe the most likely source of the infection is sprouts from multiple Jimmy John’s locations.

To reduce the risk to additional customers, IDPH has requested that all Jimmy John’s restaurants in Illinois remove sprouts from their menus until the investigation is complete. IDPH is also reminding restaurants not to let food handlers with diarrhea work. If you have developed symptoms of Salmonella infection after eating food at a Jimmy John’s restaurant please contact your health care provider or local health department. Symptoms of Salmonella may include headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, chills, fever, nausea, and dehydration.

Symptoms usually appear 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria, but can be longer. Most illnesses resolve on their own and do not require treatment other than drinking fluids to stay hydrated. If your symptoms persist or are severe, promptly contact your health care provider.

If you have developed symptoms after eating food at Jimmy John’s, contact your health care provider or local health department especially if your symptoms persist or are severe.

The IDPH says salmonella bacteria live in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals and that any food can be contaminated with the bacteria. Person to person transmission happens when infected feces, from unwashed hands, contaminates food or comes into direct contact with another person.

The IDPH did not release the locations of specific Jimmy John’s restaurants. Sprouts are an optional add-on topping at some Jimmy John’s, and the locations in Springfield and Chatham don’t currently offer sprouts as a topping —  Official Press Release from the IDPH

Jimmy John’s Franchise, LLC is a franchised sandwich restaurant chain, specializing in delivery. Founded by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983 and headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, in 30 years, the company has grown to more than 2,500 locations in all states except Alaska, Hawaii, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Jimmy John’s has opened approximately 200 locations per year over the past three years. As of 2014, nearly all of the locations are franchise-owned.



Jimmy John’s today announced it has directed all locations chain-wide to temporarily stop serving sprouts as a precautionary measure while it investigates seven consumer complaints in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Jimmy John’s made the decision after an investigation in the last 24-hours indicated that sprouts purchased from two growers in Minnesota, originating from two common seed sub-lots, could be linked to seven food safety complaints received over a one-week period in December in Illinois and Wisconsin.

“Food safety and the welfare of our customers are our top priorities and not negotiable in our business,” said James North, President and CEO. “We have been working closely with the Departments of Health in Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as their federal counterparts, as they investigate the claims. While the results of the investigation are not conclusive and we are still gathering more information, we have voluntarily directed all franchisees to remove sprouts as a precautionary measure from all supply and distribution.”

North added, “Customers can have complete confidence that all of our ingredients are of the quality they have come to know and expect from our brand.”





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