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Winner: Utah spends a lot of money each year trying to lure movie companies into filming here. Sometimes it pays off big, as it did 20 years ago with filming of the now iconic film, "The Sandlot." Much of the cast of this coming-of-age classic will be in town in coming days to mark the 20th anniversary. Planned festivities include an outdoor screening of the movie at Spring Mobile Ballpark after a Salt Lake Bees game. Anyone who has ever uttered the immortal words, "Youre killing me, Smalls!," or wondered aloud how you can have S'more of something when you havent had anything yet can appreciate this milestone.
Winner: Teenagers are delaying learning to drive. A solid majority of young people even told pollsters they value their phones more than their cars. For a nation that experienced a century or so of celebrating the freedom of the road, this is a noteworthy sea change. As a Deseret News story reported this week, many kids who do learn to drive do so out of necessity, not desire. Regardless of reasons for this (some point to the recession and the high cost of cars and insurance), the trend has enormous upsides. Fewer young people are dying in auto accidents, and fewer of them are causing accidents. And fewer parents are having to chew their nails to the nub while sitting in the passenger seat during those first few lessons in real traffic.
Loser: What's in the water in Farmington? Nothing bad, say city officials. Gross, yellow stuff that smells like fireworks, say residents. The strange water began to appear in some homes after the city began operating a new well. Officials say it's natural for sediment to appear in new water sources and the problem should fix itself soon. In the meantime, they say the water falls well within safety standards. That's small comfort for people who bathe their children and discover they smell worse than before.
Winner: People in Summit and Wasatch counties are among the fittest in the nation, a University of Washington study has found. Men in Summit County were found to be the second most physically fit in the nation, just behind those in Teton, Wyo. Summit women were found to be the sixth most active in the nation and the sixth least obese. That bodes well for long, healthy lives and less of a need for expensive health care. Given obesity rates nationwide, however, the results may not be as spectacular as they seem.
Loser: Thieves have been swiping air conditioning units out of churches nationwide lately, hunting mainly for copper, which fetches a high price. The Victory Baptist Church in West Jordan, however, has experienced more than its share of this thoughtless crime. Last week was the second week in a row in which the church lost its air conditioning. Given the recent hot weather, preachers don't have to reach far to get a fire-and-brimstone sermon across.