CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - The sub-zero temperatures Illinoisans experienced last month added up to the eighth coldest January on record.
Illinois state climatologist Jim Angel says the statewide average temperature in January was 18.2 degrees - 8.1 degrees below the average of 26.3 degrees. Angel is with the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois.
The coldest January on record was in 1977, when the average temperature was 10.3 degrees.
January snowfall was above average for most of the state except in far southern Illinois, where snow totals were from 1 to 6 inches. Northeastern Illinois had between 25 and 30 inches of accumulation thanks to lake-effect snow.
Chicago recorded low temperatures at zero or below zero on 13 days. The city had its third snowiest January on record.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee is considering legislation that would change the ability of certain public employee labor unions to collect fees.
The Workforce Development and Workforce Safety Committee heard public testimony Monday on the measure its supporters call "paycheck protection."
If passed, the measure would go to the voters for approval. Sponsoring Rep. Holly Rehder, of Sikeston, says that would get around a likely veto from Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed similar legislation last year.
Rehder's bill would require annual written authorization in order for union fees to be automatically deducted from a person's paycheck. Unions would also need authorization to spend a person's fees on political activities.
Unions representing "first responders," such as police and firefighters, would not be affected under the measure.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Springfield police say someone stole national championship rings belonging to Missouri State University's women's basketball coach.
Kellie Harper won three college basketball championships when she played at the University of Tennessee from 1996 to 1998.
The Springfield News-Leader reports Harper, who is in her first year coaching Missouri State, reported the theft Saturday. A police report says the rings were taken from her office at JQH Arena sometime after Jan. 15.
Harper's Tennessee team was 100-14 during the three years she played there. Harper scored 20 points in the championship game in 1998 to help Tennessee defeat Louisiana Tech.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A western Missouri man faces a federal charge accusing him of using his cellphone to exchange pornographic messages with a teenager.
The office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri says in a release that 49-year-old Larry Allison of Weaubleau is charged with one count of possession, receipt and production of child pornography.
The federal complaints says Allison is accused of sending graphic text messages, including a naked photo of himself, to the teenage girl last month until the girl's mother found out. A detective then portrayed herself as the victim in the cellphone messages and said Allison asked her sexual questions.
Allison's public defender didn't immediately return a call seeking comment Monday. Allison is in federal custody until his detention hearing later this week.