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THE WINNERS AND THE LOSERS

* WINNER: The economy. The nation seems to be pulling out of the recession. This conclusion is based on much more than just wishful thinking. This week the government's chief economic forecasting gauge - the Index of Leading Economic Indicators - rose 0.6 per cent in April. It was the third consecutive monthly advance.

LOSERS: Homeowners. It seems they are becoming more delinquent in paying off their mortgages, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That also goes for Utahns. Across the nation, the number of homeowners behind 30 days or more on their payments rose to 4.95 per cent of the 45.6 million mortgages in the country. The rate in Utah was 5.88 per cent. Though the recession seems to be winding down, plenty of people are still hurting.* WINNERS: The Salvation Army in Memphis, Tenn. - and the anonymous stranger who dropped off a package there containing $75,000 in cash. Then the man left without explanation, other than this handwritten message: "Jesus saves." Sometimes He has some generous helpers.

* WINNER? Nursing student Lisa Eberts of Columbus, Ohio, who didn't know she was pregnant until she gave birth this week to her second child. Though congratulations are in order, Eberts evidently needs to brush up on her coursework in biology.

* WINNER: The anti-smoking movement. A new survey shows that more than 90 percent of the residents of 10 representative cities across the country favor limits on smoking in the workplace. This movement should gain fresh impetus from still another study showing that second-hand cigarette smoke kills 53,000 non-smokers a year.