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In the Nation

Ice storm smacks much of the U.S.

ST. LOUIS - An ice storm slickened roads and sidewalks, grounded airline flights, and cut power to tens of thousands yesterday in a swath from the Southern Plains to the Great Lakes as even colder weather threatened.

The wintry weather was expected to continue through midweek, and ice-storm warnings stretched from Texas to Pennsylvania. "Tomorrow may be even more of a dilemma than today because we're going to get even a little bit more colder," said John Pike, a meteorologist in the Weather Service's office in Norman, Okla.

More than 130,000 customers lost power in Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois and Kansas, utilities reported. Three traffic deaths were blamed on icy roads in Oklahoma. Some communities in Missouri reported ice as thick as three-quarters of an inch, the National Weather Service said.

- AP

Agreement reached on Colo. River water

LOS ANGELES - Facing the worst drought in a century and the prospect that climate change could yield long-term changes on the Colorado River, the lifeline for several Western states, federal officials have reached a new pact with the states on how to allocate water if the river runs short.

State and federal officials praised the agreement, which Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne was expected to sign Thursday, as a landmark akin to the Colorado River Compact of 1922 that first divvied up how much water the seven states served by the river - California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming - receive annually.

The new accord spells out how California, Arizona and Nevada will share the pain of river shortages. It puts in place new measures to encourage conservation and manage the two primary reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, which have gone from nearly full to just about half empty since 1999.

- N.Y. Times News Service

Fire truck, SUV crash; three die

BALTIMORE - A sport utility vehicle and a fire truck collided early yesterday, killing the three occupants of the SUV and injuring four firefighters, the fire department official said.

The fire-truck crew was responding to a report of smoke in a building, said department spokesman Kevin Cartwright. The three occupants of the SUV, two men and a woman, had to be cut out of the wreckage, he said.

The department was conducting a routine internal investigation, and it was unclear if rain or wet conditions in the area contributed to the crash, he said. The police department also was investigating, said Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for the police department and the mayor.

- AP


Broadway stagehands

yesterday approved a contract with producers, nearly two weeks after the end of a strike that shut down more than two dozen Broadway shows.

Los Angeles police

arrested a 21-year-old Loyola Marymount University student in connection with an online threat to shoot people on campus, officials said Saturday.