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The winners and the losers

Winner: Through the years, good news has been rare for the "downwinders," the folks in southern Utah who were victims of this nation's above-ground nuclear tests in the 20th century. But this week the Defense Authorization Act passed through Congress with money to pay the claims of uranium miners, millers and transporters, among others. Without the money, many victims would have been given empty IOUs.

Really though, the money is the least the federal government can do for a group of Americans who were literally nuked by their own government.

Loser: Police have enough to do without having to respond to calls that turn out to be immature pranks by jilted lovers. In Orem this week, someone called police to report a suspicious car in a parking lot. According to police, when they arrived officers found a woman and a man inside. The woman's cell phone then rang, and the caller turned out to be the same man who originally called police — her ex-boyfriend.

For this, the ex-boyfriend received a citation. He should have gotten an "L" tattooed on his forehead, for "loser."

Winner: Pearl Blain may not be in the best of health, but her celebration of her 109th birthday this week was a marvelous and noteworthy achievement. It also makes her the oldest living person in Utah, and perhaps the only person left in the state who was alive before statehood. Her family says her long life may have something to do with never having taken any medications. No one knows for sure. But with the way medical science is progressing, Pearl may be blazing a trail that many more will follow.