Updated: 3/05/15 - 5:40 AM

Traffic Fatalities Down Locally
Traffic fatalities are down locally this year through February, but are up slightly in the state. Illinois Department of Transportation reports show La Salle County with two fatalities from crashes so far this year, that's down from five last year after two months. Bureau and Putnam Counties have reported no fatalities so far this year. Throughout the state, there have been 102 fatalities from crashes, up two from this time in 2014.

February One of the Coldest on Record
February will go down as one of the coldest on record in Illinois. State Climatologist Jim Angel says the average temperature in February was 18.6 degrees, which was nearly 13 degrees below normal. Angel says the average temperature throughout the area for this winter fell drastically from December, where the average was around 34 degrees. Snowfall was also above average from December through February, where some 20-30 inches fell throughout Northern Illinois. Extreme western La Salle County, most of Bureau County, and the northern half of Putnam County saw eight more inches of snow than on average.

IDOT Hiring Investigations
A federal court-appointed monitor has recommended that the Illinois Department of Transportation clean up its hiring rules. A preliminary report was filed yesterday in a lawsuit by anti-patronage activist Michael Shakman against IDOT. It targets previous administrations' improper hiring of politically connected candidates.

Medical Marijuana Halted in Kankakee
A Cook County judge has halted a medical marijuana-growing operation proposed for Kankakee. The judge Wednesday granted a temporary restraining order that has heightened concerns about legal challenges over how Illinois issued cannabis licenses. Across the state, growers expecting permits are watching the case because it lays out a legal strategy for losing applicants to reopen the process.

Teenage Girl Sentenced to Prison
A suburban Chicago girl has been sentenced to juvenile prison for the fatal stabbing of her younger half-sister in January 2014. The girl will be eligible for parole after five years. The girl pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in January and admitted she killed her 11-year-old sibling. Prosecutors had said the girl stabbed her sister more than 30 times.

Apartment Fire Claims One
Authorities say one person has died following a three-alarm fire at an apartment building in Rolling Meadows. More than 20 fire departments responded to blaze last night at a three-story complex. Rolling Meadows Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote says one person jumped from a balcony on the top floor and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Outdoor Recreation Licenses
Illinois officials are reminding hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts to renew their state licenses. The new license year begins April 1st for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation. Officials say a combination license for fishing, hunting and sportsman is being offered for 2015 through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The spring trout season for Illinois opens April 4th.

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