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The winners and the losers

SHARE The winners and the losers

Winner: Who says modern Americans don't want to get involved? Several motorists stopped to help along I-15 on Tuesday when a car slid across a divide and collided head-on with an SUV. Their help, including the use of multiple fire extinguishers and a gentle automobile nudge that moved the SUV out of the way of spreading flames, likely saved the lives of a newly married couple inside. Although it was unfortunate the driver of the car that jumped the divide died at the scene, the response to this accident said a lot about the character of many people who live along the Wasatch Front.

Loser: Criminals aren't known for their intellectual prowess, but the knife-wielding man who commandeered a Greyhound bus in eastern Utah on Monday defies all understanding. First he forced all the passengers off in the middle of nowhere, then he made the driver go another 55 miles down the road before the driver slowed the bus to 10 mph and jumped off. At that point, with police cars everywhere, there was little choice for the bad guy but to stop the bus and give up.

No one was exactly sure what the hijacker's motive was, or what he hoped to accomplish. Our hope is that the federal government isn't forced to some day require airport-style metal detectors at bus stops and train stations.

Winner: Sixteen years after the feds labeled the air in Utah County as unhealthy, the people there have made themselves perfectly clear. New studies show pollution levels are within EPA limits. The county is even beginning to phase out a commission it set up to monitor the air-cleaning efforts.

We know what you're thinking. The truth is, however, that the closing of the Geneva Steel plant had little to do with the improvement. Air quality levels before and after the smokestacks shut down didn't change much, according to the plant's former chief executive, Joe Cannon, who also sits on this newspaper's board of directors. The cleanup, apparently, was a team effort by a lot of folks.