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PENSACOLA, FL (AP) - Schools, courts and government offices throughout the western Panhandle plan to close because of anticipated snow and ice.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the region. Forecasters say a mix of freezing rain and snow is expected Tuesday through Wednesday.

Schools in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties will be closed those days. Courts and many government offices also announced closures in advances of the wintry weather.

Officials in Florida's two westernmost counties have declared local states of emergency, are preparing to spread sand on icy roads and bridges and have opened winter weather shelters.

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