National

Postage stamps will be marked 'forever' now

WASHINGTON — Rummaging around for 1- and 2-cent postage stamps when postal rates go up is heading the way of the Pony Express. Beginning in January, all new stamps good for 1 ounce of first-class mail will be marked as "forever."

The move is designed to help customers cope with postage increases, a U.S. Postal Service official told the Associated Press on Tuesday. The official requested anonymity to discuss a policy that hasn't been announced formally.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe plans to announce the new policy Jan. 14, the official said.

When the Postal Service unveiled its first-class commemorative stamps for 2011 on Tuesday, all were marked "forever" instead of the current rate of 44 cents.

Eight hurt as ski lift dumps skiers in snow

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — A 35-year-old chair lift that was due to be replaced failed Tuesday in high winds at a Maine resort, sending skiers — some of them children — plummeting into ungroomed snow 25 to 30 feet below that fell with the Northeast's recent blizzard and softened the landing.

At least eight people, three of them children, were taken to a hospital after the double-chair lift at Sugarloaf derailed during a busy vacation week at the resort 120 miles north of Portland. Dozens of skiers remained on the crippled lift for more than an hour until patrols could get them down.

High winds kept the failed lift out of operation at the start of the day but it was later deemed safe to use before the accident, said Ethan Austin, spokesman for Sugarloaf.

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