Winner: There are many ways to interpret the data, and politicians will spin it until we're all dizzy, but Friday's news from the Labor Department that unemployment dropped to 8.5 percent in December is good news. Yes, the figures are a bit misleading because they don't include a large segment of former workers who have given up looking, and yes, experts say the economy is creating too few jobs to return to pre-recession unemployment levels until the end of the decade, but the employment picture is moving in the right direction.
Loser: If you wonder about your own parenting skills, perhaps you haven't heard about the six adults in Crawford County, Mo., who were arrested this week for having a party while locking three small children in a backyard shed. The temperature in the shed was 45 degrees when police opened it, tipped off by the screams of the children, who ranged in age from 1 to 3. The adults each face three child endangerment charges in addition to marijuana possession and resisting arrest. It seems as if one bad decision just wasn't enough for these people.
Loser: Helper Mayor Dean Armstrong hasn't been convicted of anything yet, but the circumstances surrounding his recent arrest on suspicion of drunken driving make it hard to understand how he can stay in office. According to a police report, his honor told the trooper who pulled him over that he would forego the field sobriety test because he wouldn't be able to do it. "I'm going to stand down," he said, "Take me in." At a City Council meeting this week, the wife of a former mayor said Armstrong should resign. "...you are supposed to uphold the laws of this city," she said. Good point.
Loser: If you need yet another reason to avoid texting, a study at the University of British Columbia has found that people tend to lie more in texts than they do on the phone, face-to-face or even in video interactions. Apparently, the more anonymous people feel, the more free they tend to be with facts. And if you're texting, lying and driving at the same time, you could face a multitude of problems.
Winner: Deedee Corradini may have had a troubled tenure as Salt Lake City mayor, but her work since then has been nothing but praiseworthy. This week, Women's eNews, an organization that covers women's issues, named Corradini one of the "21 leaders for the 21st century." The former mayor was cited for her successful campaign to get women ski jumpers included in the Winter Olympics. Corradini, instrumental in bringing the 2002 Olympics to Salt Lake City, now is president of Women's Ski Jumping USA.