The winners and the losers

Published: Saturday, July 21 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Loser: Shame on the city of Norfolk, Va., which is using its powers of eminent domain to seize control of the Central Radio Co. and give the property to Old Dominion University. After losing a court challenge to the land-grab, the company, which provides products and services to the radio industry, decided to appeal to the public by erecting a large banner on the side of its building. Now the city says the banner violates code and wants it removed. And you thought the Soviet Union fell more than 20 years ago.

Winner: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has the right idea. The state needs a comprehensive water strategy if it wants to deal effectively with severe drought. That plan should include possible new water sources to develop as well as ways to get Utahns to conserve. With much of the country under one of the worst droughts in modern history, it may already be a little late to begin such an effort.

Loser: Nearly half of all Americans could last three months if they lost their income, according to a survey by Bankrate.com. That's up slightly from 46 percent in 2011. Worse yet, 28 percent say they have no emergency savings at all and are essentially living hand-to-mouth. Experts say the figures were even worse during good times, with 61 percent lacking three-months' savings in 2006. Bad times have forced more people to save, except of course for those who are out of work and have no income.

Loser: Whooping cough used to be considered a thing of the past, but officials now say the vaccine may be less effective than once thought. Whatever the reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nearly 18,000 cases have been reported this year so far, making it the worst outbreak in the United States in 50 years or more. Worse, nine children have died. Adults, especially pregnant women and those who spend time with children, are recommended to receive booster shots.

Loser: What does it take to completely douse a fire? People in the vicinity of the Quail Fire in Alpine must be wondering that. The fire was contained more than a week ago. Several heavy rainstorms moved through the area since then. Still, embers reignited on Thursday and began burning again. Officials say that's not unusual. Everyone is keeping a close watch to make sure whatever pops up is quickly knocked down.

Winner: The problem with digital cameras is that photos are too easily deleted. There are no negatives hanging around in notebooks or storage closets. So when Orem native Emily Dennis Adams had photos returned to her from a camera she gave to a thrift store six years ago, it was a minor miracle. Turns out a KSL broadcast designer bought the used camera recently, discovered the photos on a data card inside and used a bit of sleuthing, including soliciting help on Facebook, to locate Adams.

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