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News in Brief

Comedy Fest tickets on sale todayA limited number of single-show tickets will go on sale today, Friday, Jan. 21, for performances at the 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Tickets will go on sale at the Wheeler Opera House box office starting at 10 a.m.The 11th annual USCAF will take place at various Aspen venues Feb. 9-13. A complete schedule of events is available at http://www.hbocomedyfestival.com.Among the 25 performances for which individual tickets will be available today are: the Freedom of Speech Award: Garry Trudeau; Writers Room: Harvard Lampoon; the theater presentation Trumbo: Red, White & Blacklisted, starring Christopher Lloyd; and a special live taping of Sunday Morning Shootout, with special guests Cheech & Chong.Also Sarah Silverman & Her Silver Men; McSweenys Presents: The Rise of the Graphic Novel; Expert Only performances featuring Colin Quinn, Dane Cook and Greg Behrendt; and the Locals Only Standup Showcase, a special event set for Feb. 8.There is a limit of eight tickets per show per person.Also the Black Diamond and Local Pass ticket packages are available by calling 1-800-778-4633.Semi crash closes I-70 westbound lanes at VailVAIL (AP) A tanker hauling ethanol from Texas to Utah rolled on Interstate 70 Thursday, forcing westbound lanes to close for much of the afternoon as crews waited for another truck to haul the liquid away.The single-vehicle crash happened at 12:44 p.m. near the town limits, said Suzanne Silverthorn, a town spokeswoman. Authorities were investigating the cause of the crash.The driver and a passenger were treated and released from Vail Valley Medical Center, Silverthorn said.None of the ethanol, which is usually made from corn and used as an additive to gasoline, spilled. Crews could not move the truck until the ethanol was removed because of its weight, Silverthorn said.Motorists were diverted to Colorado 91, then to U.S. 24 and back to the interstate in a detour that took about an hour and 15 minutes, said Paul Peterson, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.Northwest experiencing sudden meltdownSPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Snow came late this winter to many Pacific Northwest ski areas, and now springlike temperatures in the mountains have melted away much of the white stuff and the resorts business.A mass of moist subtropical air called the Pineapple Express flowed across the region this week, bringing record high temperatures and copious amounts of rain.Soggy snowpack needs to dry out, Mount Hood Meadows east of Portland, Ore., said on its Web page in announcing that lift operations were suspended Thursday.Very slushy, very soft and lots of dirt, the closed Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park advised on its Web site. Do your dancing for more fresh cold snow!Conditions were similar at many other resorts in the Cascade Range of Washington and Oregon, as well as the Rockies in Idaho.High temperatures Wednesday reached the low 60s in parts of western Washington and Oregon, setting records in several places, while nighttime lows east of the Cascades were unseasonably warm.The National Weather Service forecast unseasonably high temperatures and more rain through the weekend.


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