Saturday, December 17, Eyewitness News at 11

11:33 PM, Dec 17, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING, AND THANKS FOR JOINING US... I'M AMY AUBERT.

THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

THE HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON IS IN FULL SWING.. AND CHRISTMAS IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER....

BUT SOME SHOPPERS ARE STILL HITTING THE STORES TRYING TO GRAB SOME LAST MINUTE DEALS.

AUSTIN LEWIS SHOWS YOU WHY 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.

CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY TODAY FOR A GROUP OF KIDS IN WARNER ROBINS.

IT WAS ALL THANKS TO THE WORK OF A LOCAL VETERINARIAN AND HIS FOUNDATION.

IT'S A STORY THAT COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART.

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 STARTED THE PROGRAM AND SAYS 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.

FAMILY AND FREINDS WILL SOON BE REUNITED WITH THEIR LOVED ONES WHO FOUGHT OVERSEAS.

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 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.

IN NATIONAL NEWS... SENATE LAWMAKERS ON CAPITOL HILL WRAPPED UP SOME UNFINISHED BUSINESS THIS MORNING.

THEY VOTED FOR A TWO MONTH EXTENSION OF THE PAYROLL TAX CUT.

BUT AS SHELBY LIN EXPLAINS.... NOW CONGRESS IS WORKING ON A REVISED PAYROLL TAX BREAK THAT AFFECTS MORE THAN 100-MILLION AMERICANS

<<

--REPORTER PKG-AS FOLLOWS --

Under the previous order HR 3630, as a mandate is passed.

IN A 89 TO 10 VOTE, THE SENATE PASSED A MEASURE FOR A TWO-MONTH EXTENSION OF THE PAYROLL TAX CUT ...AFTER THEY FAILED TO AGREE ON A LONGER ONE.

PRESIDENT OBAMA APPLAUDED BOTH SIDES FOR COMING TO A TEMPORARY RESOLUTION.

Today, I'm glad that both parties came together and I want to thank them for ensuring that as we head into the holidays folks at home don't have to worry about their taxes going up.

THE PRESIDENT WENT ON TO SAY THE SHORT-TEAM DEAL IS ONLY A FORMALITY.

While this agreement is for two months, it is my expectation...in fact it would be inexcusible for Congress not to further extend this middle class tax cut for the rest of the year.

THE DEAL ALSO INCLUDES A PROVISION CALLING ON THE WHITE HOUSE TO MAKE A DECISION ON THE KEYSTONE X-L PIPELINE WITHIN 60 DAYS.

THE PROPOSED CANADA-TO-TEXAS PIPELINE WOULD CREATE THOUSANDS OF JOBS.

SOME DEMOCRATS SAY THE PIPELINE NEEDS MORE STUDY..

WHILE REPUBLICANS WANT TO GET MOVING ON IT.

It strengthens our national security by decreasing the amount of oil we get from unfriendly countries. And it wouldn't cost the taxpayers a dime. Not a dime. A private-sector project ready to go.

THE MEASURE STILL NEEDS TO PASS THE HOUSE.

A VOTE IN THE HOUSE IS EXPECTED NEXT WEEK.

>>

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

THEY GATHERED IN DUARTE SQUARE IN MANHATTEN FOR AN ALL DAY EVENT... INCLUDING MUSIC AND SPEECHES.

IT'S PART OF A PUSH TO RE-OCCUPY.... AFTER EVICTIONS OF CAMPSITES... FOR PROTESTORS ACROSS THE NATION.

THE VACANT DUARTE SQUARE IS OWNED BY A CHURCH... WHO ASKED PROTESTORS NOT TO TRESPASS ON THEIR PROPERTY.

BEFORE TODAY.. THE CHURCH HAD BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF THE DEMONSTRATORS.

HUNDREDS OF OCCUPY PROTESTORS IN NEW YORK CAME TOGETHER TODAY TO MARK THREE MONTHS OF THE MOVEMENT

NEWT GINGRICH HAS MADE HIS WAY TO THE TOP OF THE PACK IN THE RACE FOR THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL TICKET.

HE SAT WITH WITH BOB SCHIEFFER TO TALK ABOUT SOME BIG TICKET ISSUES.

HERE'S A PREVIEW OF TOMORROW'S FACE THE NATION.

"Sunday on Face the Nation, Newt Gingrich the new republican frontrunner. Is it for real? Where does he really stand on the big issues, taxes, immigration and jobs? How does he answer Mitt Romney's charges that he is an unreliable conservative? We'll ask him on Face the Nation, tomorrow."

 

YOU CAN WATCH THAT EPISODE OF FACE THE NATION... RIGHT HERE ON 13 WMAZ TOMORROW MORNING AT 10-30.

WELCOME BACK.

HERE'S A LOOK AT HEADLINES MAKING NEWS AROUND THE STATE.

INVESTIGATORS IN CATERSVILLE.. THAT'S IN BARTOW COUNTY... FOUND TWO MORE SYRINGES INSIDE CLOTHES AT WAL-MART STORE.

OFFICIALS SAY THE NEEDLES WERE FOUND EARLIER THIS WEEK IN THE POCKETS OF A NIGHTGOWN AND A MEN'S HOODIE.

AT LEAST TWO CUSTOMERS WERE PRICKED BY THE SYRINGES.

WAL-MART SAYS THEY WILL PAY FOR THEIR MEDICAL EXPENSES.

AUTHORITIES BELIEVE THE INCIDENTS ARE ISLOTATED TO THE CATERSVILLE STORE.

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

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.. TEN POUND TUBES.

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

THE COAST GUARD IS LOWERING THE NUMBER OF SEATS ON SAVANNAH FERRYBOATS BECAUSE PASSENGERS ARE GETTING HEAVIER.

WATER TAXI'S ON SAVANNAH'S RIVERFRONT SHED BETWEEN 14 AND 20 SEATS EACH.. THIS MONTH.

THE CHANGE IS DUE TO THE COAST GUARD'S RECENTLY UPDATED WEIGHT GUIDELINES FOR WATER SAFETY.

THE NEW NUMBERS REFLECT THAT AMERICANS ARE GETTING HEAVIER.

FOR MORE ON THESE STORIES... HEAD OVER TO OUR WEBSITE.. 13 WMAZ DOT COM.

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 WRAPPED 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 MISSED THE OPPORTUNITY TODAY... DONT WORRY... READING PAWS WILL RETURN TO THE NOLA BRANTLEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY JANUARY 14TH.

FOR ANYONE WHO HAS EVER DREAMED OF BEING A SUPER-HERO.

HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO AT LEAST DRIVE AROUND TOWN LIKE ONE.

THIS REPLICA OF THE BATMOBILE FROM THE 1960s BATMAN T-V SHOW... IS ON SALE IN A CALIFORNIA SHOWROOM.

THE SALES MANAGER SAYS HE'S TOLD IT'S AT LEAST 99 PERCENT ACCURATE COPY.

THE BATMOBILE HAS GOTTEN HIM A LOT OF ATTENTION.

HE SAYS A COP PULLED HIM OVER DURING HIS FIRST TEST DRIVE.

THE REPLICA CAN SHOOT OUT FIVE-FOOT FLAMES... JUST LIKE THE BATMOBILE DID IN THE T-V SHOW.

THE CAR IS STREET LEGAL.

IF YOU WANT TO TAKE IT HOME.. THE ASKING PRICE IS 60-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

THE NEWS CONTINUES ALL DAY EVERY DAY... ON 13WMAZ DOT COM.

JOIN US AT SEVEN A-M FOR WEEKEND MORNIN.

HAVE A GREAT NIGHT EVERYONE.

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