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Snow hits Inland Northwest Friday

Snow hits Inland Northwest Friday

Light snow is forecast through the weekend in the Inland Northwest where temperatures are expected to remain below freezing until next week.

Forecasters say this week's frigid temperatures in Washington should moderate slowly through the weekend and return to a normal weather pattern next week.

The National Weather Service says another inch or two of snow is likely Friday night and Saturday in southwest Washington, south of Tacoma, when weak systems run into lingering cold air.

In Western Washington, forecasters say rain will return next week with highs in the 40s.

Fire guts Sandpoint's A & P Bar and Grill

Fire guts Sandpoint's A & P Bar and Grill

A fire gutted the A & P Bar and Grill in Sandpoint Thursday morning.

Around 9 a.m. the Sandpoint Fire Department responded to the scene and started battling the blaze.

"The owner was in the basement, and when she came upstairs she saw smoke and called 9-1-1," Sandpoint Fire Chief Robert Tyler said.

By the time first responders made their way into the bar. Flames had quickly spread from the first floor into the attic.

"It took awhile for us to get everything taken care of," Tyler said.

As the flames settled it didn't take long to determine the building was a total loss.

Neighboring businesses had to be evacuated but thanks to firewalls no other buildings were damaged and no one was injured in the fire.

As the news spread throughout Sandpoint, residents came from all over to see the damage firsthand.

"It's a small town, news travels fast, there's only so many places in town," Tim Rickert said.

There's no word yet on what caused the fire and its known whether the owner intends to rebuild.

Bumblebee Campground closed for 2014 season

Bumblebee Campground closed for 2014 season

A popular Idaho campground will be closed for the entirety of the 2014 camping season. Bumblebee Campground, located in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, will  be closed while crews work to remove diseased and damaged trees.

“It’s a very difficult decision to close such a popular campground,” said Coeur d’Alene River District Ranger Chad Hudson. “But with so many dangerous trees in the area we cannot allow the public to camp there until all of the hazards have been removed.”

Idaho officials analyzing ammonium nitrate spill

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is analyzing samples taken from the site of a fatal tractor-trailer crash in northern Idaho that led to a spill of about 500 gallons of ammonium nitrate.

Regional administrator Dan Redline tells the Bonner County Daily Bee that surface and groundwater could be at risk.

He says the agency is working to get more information from the manufacturer about the product.

Idaho State Police say the crash occurred about 1 p.m. Saturday on U.S. 95 when 62-year-old John M. Moody of Peck drifted off the roadway onto the right shoulder. Moody died at the scene.

Officials say the spill was contained in a roadside ditch.

Arctic air dropping temperatures in Washington

Arctic air dropping temperatures in Washington

Arctic air blowing into the Inland Northwest prompted the National Weather Service to issue a wind chill warning for the Spokane region for Wednesday morning.

Forecasters expect temperatures around zero with 10 mph to 20 mph winds, which could create a wind chill of 20 below -- enough to freeze exposed skin.

Forecasters also say cold temperatures could set records in Western Washington between Wednesday and Friday. Highs Wednesday -- when the Seahawks parade in Seattle -- and Thursday are forecast in the 30s. Seattle's record low maximum for Feb. 5 is 34 (1989) and Feb. 6 is 37 (1949).

The Weather Service says the cold should start to ease by the weekend when precipitation arrives, probably starting as snow. Forecasters say temperatures should return to normal next week.

Two children die after falling into icy pond near Plummer

Two children die after falling into icy pond near Plummer

Two small children, ages five and nine, drowned Sunday evening in a fishing pond outside of Plummer, Idaho.

The pond is located off Old Agency Loop Road several miles southwest of Plummer. There's an aerator in the middle of the small fishing pond that is constantly running, even during winter, to keep it from completely freezing over, but it creates a dangerous situation as the ice closer to the bank is much thicker and stronger but is thinner a few feet out from the bank.

Brother and sister Jose Reyes and Elena Maravilla, descendants of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, were walking their dog along Agency Road. Their grandmother and legal guardian, Rose Gonzalez, realized they had been out too long and drove a few hundred yards from her home. She soon realized her grandchildren were in the pond and did everything she could to save them, jumping in herself to try and rescue them.

Coeur d'Alene Tribal Police and emergency responders were dispatched to the pond after the grandmother called them. Gonzalez and the two children were taken to Kootenai Medical Center. Jose and Elena did not survive. Gonzalez was treated and released.