* Winner: Theater lovers in and around West Valley City are beneficiaries of the new 500-seat, $8.2 million Hale Centre Theatre, which opened Thursday night. Funded by $1.8 million in donations and a $7 million revenue bond that will be retired by lease payments from the Hale family, the 41,900-square-foot facility is the first new theater in the valley in 36 years. It is a delightful cultural enhancement to West Valley City and illustrates the effectiveness of cooperative efforts between public and private partners dedicated to promoting the arts.

* Winner: Alberta Hunt Nicholson, 84, of Salt Lake City is finally receiving recognition denied her many years ago. She is being honored this weekend during a fly-in of the Ninety-Nines, a 7,000-member international women pilots organization.Nicholson entered ground flight school in 1940 and scored high enough to receive free flying lessons from the federal government. But her scholarship was rescinded when the government discovered she was a woman. More than 160 women are expected to fly 50 airplanes into Heber City for the event.

Loser: Utah County residents are facing increased gang activity, but many are in denial, according to Patty Sue Long, community coordinator who works with the Utah County Gang and Narcotics Task Force. Long told the 20th annual state conference on drug and violence prevention Wednesday that gang activities in Salt Lake County are down, but the opposite is true in Utah County. She attributes some of the problem to a "Happy Valley" mindset of denial.

"Parents think because they have a family where the father works and the mother stays home and that the kids are interested in football, that the kids aren't involved with gangs."

Winner/Loser: Overseas travelers are answering more questions in airports about security and next of kin, but the end result should be increased safety and better communication in the unlikely case of an accident. Beginning Thursday, all U.S. citizens traveling to or from America are asked whether they packed their own bags, were asked to carry anything aboard, and whom to notify in case of an "incident." Early reports were that the airlines and most travelers were taking the new law in stride, and that no significant delays had resulted from the extra inquiries.

Loser: Geneva Steel and other U.S. steel manufacturers are charging foreign competitors with "dumping" low-priced products into the market. Geneva is among a dozen domestic mills that has filed a petition with the International Trade Commission to curtail the practice.

Imports of hot-rolled steel sheet from Russia, Japan and Brazil rose 3.2 million tons through the first seven months of the year, gobbling up 18.4 percent of U.S. market share. As a result of declining business, Geneva has had to lay off 330 workers in 1998 and scaled back plant operations due to the depressed market.