The Associated Press . Suzannah Landinghan makes a snow angel after finishing a snowman during the first major snow of the year in front of the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville, N.C., on Friday.
Storm warnings as snow bears down on coast
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A major storm moving up the Atlantic Coast on the last shopping weekend before Christmas threatened to shut down much of the region as officials warned of the potential for up to 20 inches of snow and significant power outages.
People stocked up on groceries and other staples as the National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings from the Carolinas to New Jersey.
In Virginia, Gov. Tim Kaine declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm, placing the National Guard and other agencies on standby.
Forecasters expected up to 20 inches of snow through late today in the Washington metro area and the mountains of southern West Virginia and southwest Virginia. Up to a foot of snow was forecast in parts of Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Police puzzled over Utah mom's disappearance
SALT LAKE CITY -- Josh Powell said he packed up the family van in the middle of a freezing night on Dec. 7 and took his two young boys on an impromptu camping trip in the snow-covered wilderness. He said his wife stayed home and went to bed.
She has not been heard from since. Susan Powell never showed up at her stockbroker job the next morning -- her keys, purse and cell phone all left at home. The husband was a no-show at work as well, saying he lost track of what day it was during the camping excursion.
Police are mystified by Josh Powell's story and have named him as the sole person of interest in his wife's disappearance. Authorities suspect foul play, and they say the husband's reluctance to provide basic information about his whereabouts that night has only fueled their suspicion.
GM to end Saab brand after talks with buyer fail
NEW YORK -- General Motors is killing off another well-known brand -- Saab, a quirky line of cars known for angular roof lines and ignition keyholes between the front seats -- after talks with a Dutch would-be buyer collapsed.
GM, Dutch automaker Spyker Cars and the government of Sweden, where Saabs are made, were in discussions as late as Friday morning. Spyker said the sale was too complicated to complete quickly. GM declined to elaborate on why the deal failed.
Palin cuts short vacation after McCain visor flap
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said she cut short her Hawaii vacation because of paparazzi, who photographed her wearing a sun visor with the name of John McCain blacked out.
The pictures were circulated widely on the Internet with speculation the redaction was a slight against McCain, but Palin said she meant no disrespect to her former GOP running mate.
''In an attempt to 'go incognito,' I Sharpied the logo out on my sun visor so photographers would be less likely to recognize me and bother my kids or other vacationers,'' Palin said in a statement.
''I am so sorry if people took this silly incident the wrong way. I adore John McCain, support him 100 percent and will do everything I can to support his re-election,''Palin said.
Crews race to shore up Calif. crumbling cliff
PACIFICA, Calif. -- Construction crews are working to shore up a Northern California bluff where a seaside apartment building is at risk of sliding into the ocean.
The 12-unit building in Pacifica, about 10 miles south of San Francisco, has been evacuated. It now stands about 10 feet from the edge of the cliff.
Pacifica's chief building official, Doug Rider, said a crane was scheduled to position large boulders at the base of the bluff Friday to help stabilize it.
Mom under fire for tweet after son's drowning
MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. -- A Florida mother is being criticized by bloggers and Twitter users for posting a tweet less than an hour after her 2-year-old son drowned in a swimming pool at her home.
Shellie Ross, a 38-year-old stay-at-home mother who lives outside Patrick Air Force Base where her husband serves, posted a message asking that people pray for her son after he had fallen into the family's swimming pool on Monday. Her son, Bryson, died at a hospital less than an hour after paramedics responded.