Saturday, December 17, Eyewitness News at 6

7:47 PM, Dec 17, 2011   |    comments
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ABOUT 25 SOLDIERS WHO FOUGHT IN THE IRAQ WAR ARE EXPECTED TO RETURN TO ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE EARLY NEXT WEEK... THAT'S ACCORDING TO ROBINS SPOKESWOMAN CHRISSY MINER.

THE TROOPS WERE SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE SOMETIME TOMORROW.... BUT MINER SAYS AN UNEXPECTED DELAY... PUSHED BACK THEIR RETURN.

SHE SAYS THE SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN ARE MEMBERS OF THE 689TH COMBAT COMMUNICATION WING.

MINER SAYS THE GROUP IS PART OF THE LAST TO COME HOME... BUT WERE SOME OF THE FIRST ON THE GROUND WHEN THE WAR STARTED.

THE BASE HAS NOT ANNOUNCED WHAT TIME THE TROOPS WILL ARRIVE.

WITH CHRISTMAS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER... SHOPPERS HIT THE STORES TO GRAB SOME LAST MINUTE DEALS.

AUSTIN LEWIS SHOWS YOU WHY SOME RETAILERS SAY THE SATURDAY BEFORE THE BIG DAY... BECOMES ONE OF THEIR BUSIEST ALL YEAR.

<< WHILE MANY HAVE ALREADY TRIMMED THE CHRISTMAS TREE---

AND DECKED THE HALLS WITH HOLLY

THERE ARE QUITE A FEW SHOPPERS THAT STILL NEED TO GET PRESENTS TO PUT UNDER THE TREE.

Tina Lawson, Macon: The majority of my Christmas shopping is today tried to go Black Friday shopping and the crowds were outrageous and actually found better sales today.

AND TINA LAWSON ISN'T THE ONLY SHOPPER HITTING THE STORES TODAY.

ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION THIS WEEK THE AVERAGE PERSON HAS GOTTEN JUST OVER 46 PERCENT OF THEIR SHOPPING DONE.

SOME STORES ARE SAYING THAT LAST MINUTE SHOPPER IS DIFFERENT FROM THE BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPER---BUT BOTH BRING IN BIG BUSINESS.

Darwin Saunders, Manager, Belks at River Crossing: They woke up and say I got a week and Christmas will be here so that makes it a very different customer. The men first of all and the customers that are not sure of what they are wanting.

SOME SHOPPERS SAY THEY ARE GETTING GREAT DEALS NOW...JUST DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

Mickey Wells, Cordele: There's a lot of specials on today, door busters and that's what really what brought us out.

OTHERS SAY WAITING TILL THE LAST MINUTE PUTS THEM IN THAT HOLIDAY SPIRIT.

Grace Henderson, Macon: It's more like Christmas when you shop late, kinda get in the mood.

AND THERE A FEW WHO SAY IT'S STILL A LITTLE TOO EARLY TO GET PRESENTS TO PUT UNDER THE TREE.

Bernard Stanley, Atlanta: Well as a matter of fact I haven't done anything at all, I'll probably wait until the latter part of this week.

BUT EITHER WAY---THESE SHOPPERS SAY THEY THINK THEY'LL HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO GET EVERY GIFT CHECKED OFF THEIR CHRISTMAS LIST.

AUSTIN LEWIS 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS. >>

THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION IS PREDICTING THAT HOLIDAY SALES WILL INCREASE NEARLY FOUR PERCENT FROM LAST YEAR.

SOME KIDS CELEBRATED CHRISTMAS A LITTLE EARLY AT A VETERINARIAN HOSPITAL IN WARNER ROBINS TODAY.

KIDS FROM BIBB.... TWIGGS ...HOUSTON...AND PEACH COUNTIES RECEIVED OVER 300 CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FROM SANTA AND HIS HELPERS.

AS A PART OF... THE DOCTOR HODGES IT TAKES A VILLAGE FOUNDATION... ABOUT 50 FOSTER KIDS AND THEIR FAMILIES RECEIVED GIFTS.

VERNARD HODGES WHO STARTED THE PROGRAM SAYS THAT HIS FAVOIRTE PART IS SEEING THE KIDS' REACTION.

Dr. Vermard Hodges "I wanted to kind of bless more kids I wanted to make sure that other kids had an opportunity to experience what most of feel on Christmas morning when we walk down the stairs and pick up our gifts so it was just a great feeling to see the kids running around happy you know"

THE KIDS WERE SELECTED THROUGH D-FACS... SOCIAL WORKERS...AND SCHOOL COUNSELORS.

THE FOUNDATION HELPS MENTOR YOUTH WHO ARE LOOKING TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS.

TYSON FRESH MEATS SAYS THE PACKAGES OF THEIR CHUCK FINE GROUND BEEF.. TESTED POSITIVE FOR E-COLI.

THEY SAY THE MEAT WAS PACKED IN CASES CONTAINING EIGHT CHUBS.. OR TUBES.

E. COLI IS A BACTERIUM THAT CAN MAKE YOU SICK AND ULTIMATELY CAUSE KIDNEY FAILURE.

THE U-S-D-A ADVISES EVERYONE TO COOK GROUND BEEF TO A TEMPERATURE OF 160 DEGREES.

PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNED THE 2012 BUDGET INTO LAW SATURDAY.

NOW CONGRESS IS WORKING ON A REVISED PAYROLL TAX BREAK THAT AFFECTS MORE THAN 100-MILLION AMERICANS .

DREW LEVINSON HAS THE LATEST FROM WASHINGTON.

A NEBRASKA MEAT PACKER RECALLED 40 THOUSAND POUNDS OF GROUND BEEF....AND SOME OF IT MADE ITS WAY TO GEORGIA.

<<

TRT 1:33

PKG:

Senators arrived on capitol hill ....

( NAT SOT) " OH YEAH WE'LL GET IT DONE"

.... for a rare Saturday session to avoid a government shutdown.

(NAT SOT ) "THE YAYS 67 THE NAYS ARE 32"

They approved a one-trillion dollar budget bill that funds the government through next year.

(NAT SOT) "THE AMENDMENT IS AGREED TO"

The Senate also passed a temporary extension of the payroll tax break .

That means at the beginning of the year 160-millon americans won't see their paychecks shrink if the House passes the revised bill.

(: :31-:37 ) (SOT SEN HARRY REID/(D) Majority Leader) "WE STAYED IN SESSION TO PREVENT SOME ISSUES TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC THAT WERE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT"

Senators couldn't find the money to pay for the tax cut for a whole year - so they opted for just a two month extension.

President Barack Obama praised the vote, but demanded Congress do more.

(SOT PRESIDENT OBAMA) "IT WOULD BE INEXCUSABLE FOR CONGRESS NOT TO FURTHER EXTEND THIS MIDDLE-CLASS TAX CUT FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. IT SHOULD BE A FORMALITY. AND HOPEFULLY IT'S DONE WITH AS LITTLE DRAMA AS POSSIBLE WHEN THEY GET BACK IN JANUARY.'

Saturday's compromise requires the President speed up a decision on an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. he wanted to delay a decision on the controversial project, but republicans say it will bring much needed jobs.

(1: 15-1:26 ) (SOT Sen. Mitch McConnell/ (R) KY) "EVERYBODY IN WASHINGTON SAYS THEY WANT MORE AMERICAN JOBS RIGHT NOW. WELL, HERE'S THE SINGLE-LARGEST SHOVEL-READY PROJECT IN AMERICA."

Members of the House are expected to return next week to debate the payroll tax extension.

>>

THE SENATE ALSO AGREED TO EXTEND LONG TERM UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS THROUGH FEBRUARY GIVING THE MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WITHOUT A JOB A LITTLE MORE RELIEF.

FOLKS HEADED OUT TO BYRON TODAY TO KICK OFF SOME HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS.

THE PEACH SHOPS SPRUCED UP THEIR HOLIDAY ART MART... WITH A PETTING ZOO... TRAINS... AND WREATH DEMONSTRATIONS.

FOLKS ALSO GOT A CHANCE TO CHECK OUT SEVERAL ANTIQUE CARS ON DISPLAY.

FRANCES MCDANIEL HELPED ORGANIZE THE FESTIVAL... SHE SAYS IT'S NOT THE ONLY EVENT BRINGING BYRON TOGETHER THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.

Frances McDaniel, Byron: "Just to get everybody together. You know, the first weekend of the month we had a Christmas parade and then we had lunch with Santa last weekend. And now we've got this goin' on out here. And it's just a good time for everybody to get together."

MCDANIEL SAYS ONE OF TODAY'S BIGGEST HITS WAS THE BRUNCH WITH SANTA.

THE EVENT WRAPS UP TONIGHT AT 7.

KIDS GOT A CHANCE TO IMPROVE THEIR READING SKILLS TODAY WITH THE HELP OF SOME FOUR LEGGED LISTENERS.

THE NOLA BRANTLEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY IN WARNER ROBINS HOSTED READING PAWS.

THE PROGRAM HELPS BUILD CONFIDENCE OF YOUNG CHILDREN AGES 5 THRU 18 STRUGGLING WITH READING.

KIDS ENJOYED READING THEIR FAVORITE BOOKS TO TRAINED DOGS.

VOLUNTEERS SAY IT BRINGS THEM JOY TO SEE HOW THE CHILDREN RESPOND TO THE DOGS.

HANDLER DONNA HARTNETT SAYS SHE THINKS READING PAWS IS AN IMPORTANT PROGRAM.

Donna hartnett/handler "literacy is the biggest issue, letting people build their literacy skills. With reading, you can do a lot of things in life. You can travel around the world by simply reading books. You can get better jobs ultimately in life."

IF YOU MESSED THE OPPORTUNITY TODAY... DONT WORRY... READING PAWS WILL RETURN TO THE NOLA BRANTLEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY JANUARY 14TH.

IT'S TIME TO TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR PICTURES. THESE PHOTOS COME FROM OUR AREN'T MY KIDS THE CUTEST GALLERY.

THIS IS A PHOTO OF THE ROOKS FAMILY VISITING WITH SANTA.

AND HERE'S A PHOTO OF MAKAYLA ALL DRESSED UP AT HER LITTLE PINK PARTY.

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS...LOOK FOR *PHOTO GALLERIES* IN THE MENU BAR ACROSS THE TOP OF OUR HOMEPAGE...

13-W-M-A-Z-DOT-COM.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

WE'LL SEE YOU BACK HERE FOR EYEWITNESS NEWS AT ELEVEN.

FOR ALL YOUR NEWS... WEATHER... AND SPORTS 24-7... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

WE'LL SEE YOU LATER.

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