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In brief: Winter storm to bring snow tonight

Tue., Dec. 11, 2012, midnight

A winter storm arriving tonight is expected to drop 3.7 inches of snow in Spokane and5.3 inches in Coeur d’Alene.

The National Weather Service also predicts that the storm is likely to extend southward into the Palouse, where Pullman may see 3.2 inches of snow. Sandpoint may receive 2.5 inches.

Heavier snow is forecast in the mountains of North Idaho. Some locations could get a foot.

The storm is expected to move into the region overnight from a strong cold front moving onshore from the Gulf of Alaska. The storm may move slowly across the region, allowing for bands of heavier snow to increase accumulations.

That could make Wednesday morning’s commute hazardous.

High temperatures today and Wednesday will be in the mid-30s, with the low today around 30 degrees.

Yet another storm could bring more snow by Saturday, to be followed by a third storm on Sunday night or Monday. The last of the storms may see a switch to rain, although some snow is possible, too, forecasters said.

Pocket gopher may be protected

OLYMPIA – The federal government has proposed listing four subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher for endangered species protection.

The Mazama pocket gopher is a species of small mammal that lives in prairie habitats in Washington and Oregon. They spend most of their time underground in tunnels, where they forage on grasses and forbs, and they rarely surface.

The four subspecies proposed for endangered species protection exist solely in Washington. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also proposed Monday to designate 9,234 acres of critical habitat for the gophers in Western Washington.

The proposal is open for public comment for 60 days.

Voters pick Lily as elephant’s name

PORTLAND – Online voters have picked Lily as the name of Oregon’s newest elephant calf.

The calf was born at nearly 300 pounds on Nov. 30 to another Oregon Zoo elephant, Rose-Tu.

The name Jaidee was the runner-up, receiving close to 21 percent of the online votes

Man sentenced for baiting ducks

BOISE – An Idaho man who once headed a group whose mission it is to protect ducks is being punished for using illegal methods to hunt them.

Charles D. Steele, of Hagerman, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to a year of supervised probation, a $2,000 fine and 25 hours of community service.

On Sept. 25 he pleaded guilty to violating federal bird-protection laws by placing corn on private farmland near Gooding to attract waterfowl – and enhance hunting opportunities.

The 48-year-old Steele is the former president of the Hagerman Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, whose motto is “filling the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.”


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