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The winners and the losers

SHARE The winners and the losers

Winner: Jeff St. Romain, president and chief executive officer of Utah Volunteers of America, has been named winner of the national organization's Leadership Award for 2000. St. Romain's leadership was instrumental in constructing the Utah VOA's new Center for Women and Children, a residential facility that enables women with substance abuse problems to receive treatment and remain with their children.

St. Romain was also a driving force behind a homeless-youth outreach program, which provides food and personal care items to teens unable to benefit from traditional assistance programs. St. Romain has been director of the Utah VOA since December 1993.

Loser: The suspect in an Ogden bank robbery apparently was done in by his demons, drinking and gambling.

The suspect, Todd Harold Cooper, 37, was found Tuesday morning passed out along Interstate 15 in Arizona near the Utah-Nevada border after an all-night drinking and gambling spree in Nevada. Someone who saw Cooper stagger out of a Mesquite, Nev. casino tipped the Arizona Highway Patrol. Troopers found the suspect's car crashed and abandoned on the side of the highway. They subsequently found Cooper passed out on the road. He was carrying large amounts of cash and a gun.

The suspect had entered an Ogden bank on Monday wearing a Ronald Reagan mask, brandishing a revolver and demanding that tellers place money in a white grocery bag.

Winner: Next month, for only the second time since the Korean War ended in 1953, government-arranged reunions will occur between North and South Korean families. One hundred people from each country — many of them in their 70s and 80s — will be allowed to cross the border to meet their now middle-aged children, siblings or even former spouses.

The reunions are one of the positive outcomes of the June summit between South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong II. While this will be a happy occasion for those selected to attend, it only scratches the surface of those separated by war. About 1.2 million South Koreans have immediate family members in the North.

Loser: Two young girls made a grisly discovery while walking through a Kearns park Wednesday: a cat that had been disemboweled and bound to a tree with electrical tape.

Animal advocates are urging Salt Lake County residents to keep pets indoors as much as possible. Presently, there are no suspects or leads but this episode adds to a growing list of animal cruelty incidents this past year in Utah, including the earlier torture of dogs and puppies in Utah County.

Winner: Utahn Floyd Mori, an international business consultant, has been elected national president of the Japanese American Citizens League, the oldest Asian-American civil and human rights organization in the United States.

One of Mori's aims as president of the 25,000-member organization is to fight bigotry and hate crimes against all minority groups, which are efforts all Utahns should support and embrace.