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Snow expected throughout the week

The morning commute could be interesting today, with as much as 2 inches of snow expected in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas overnight.

According to the National Weather Service snow was expected to begin falling about 10 p.m. Sunday and continue through 10 a.m. today.

The temperature is expected to drop below freezing by 1 p.m. today, the weather service reported. An additional half-inch of snow may fall after 10 p.m.

Holiday travelers can expect bouts of rain and snow into next week, the weather service said.

– Sara Leaming

Astoria, Ore.

Coast Guard says cocaine trafficking up

Coast Guard officials say the bulk of cocaine trafficking appears to be shifting from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean.

The maritime law enforcement agency nabbed more than 355,000 pounds during the past year, worth an estimated $4.7 billion.

And a recent bust by the Astoria- based Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast may have bumped the scales a bit higher.

Crew members seized a Costa Rican fishing vessel and retrieved more than 80 bales of cocaine during a two-month deployment still under way on the Eastern Pacific.

The ship’s helicopter crew spotted an 85-foot-long boat Nov. 28, which was reportedly carrying suspicious- looking bags and reversed direction as soon as those aboard noticed the aircraft.

With the helicopter in pursuit, the vessel’s crew allegedly began throwing bags and bales of drugs overboard as they sped away from the cutter.

Ultimately, seven people were taken from the vessel and kept aboard the Steadfast that night. Once daylight broke, the Coast Guard seized 81 bales and 49 bricks of cocaine, tipping 4,558 pounds on the scale and carrying an import value of $61 million, according to the agency.

– Associated Press


Oprah to make over Idaho family’s house

Oprah Winfrey is coming to visit, and Dana Howell figures she needs to get ready.

“My husband’s nasty hunting camper is parked right in front of the house, but I’m going to get that moved,” Howell said before construction crews began a makeover of her Lewiston orchards home over the weekend, compliments of television’s famous talk-show host. “I was told by the production crew Oprah is coming here in a month or so. I’m just in awe about the whole thing.”

Dana, 39, and her husband, David, 43, live in a 4,200-square-foot house with a blended family of four kids. The boys are 16 and 12, and the girls are both 9. “The girls share a room and it looks like a tornado,” Howell said. “My laundry room needs some major help, too.”

Howell isn’t sure how her house was selected, but she believes it had something to do with having three jobs, four kids, an Idaho address and a husband who works overseas about two weeks every month.

“We’re a working family, and they look for small-town people,” she said.

– Associated Press


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