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The winners and the losers

Loser: Prison work crews have become somewhat iconic on the American landscape, from the music they've inspired to the movie images of chain gangs. But you won't see any more of them in Utah. That's because some work crew members tried to escape recently and others found a way to get drunk. Crew members typically were prisoners who were soon to be released and who had a record for good behavior. Apparently, those aren't necessarily good predictors any more.

Winner: Lawmakers are facing another state surplus this year — as much as $400 million, according to estimates released this week. Setting aside all the arguments about what to do about this, the surplus reflects well on the state's economy, which continues to sizzle. That won't last forever, of course, but it has gone on long enough now to indicate that something is right with the state.