Good evening, everyone.
I'm Lorra Lynch Jones.
Frank and Leah are off this evening.
First tonight, mayhem erupts at a Walmart in Moultrie... A black Friday deal on a cell phone at the center of a pushing and shoving match that's already gone viral on Youtube.
Austin Lewis gives us a look.
Someone posted a nearly minute and a half video on youtube...of this frenzied crowd.
Now you can see there's the crowd waiting...and you can see up here there are Walmart workers and what looks like security on hand.
And then the crowd starts to tear open the plastic. Walmart Spokesman Randy Hargrove told me that the crowd was excited about a deal on a cell phone with a prepaid unlimited usage plan.
You can see people trying to move forward to grab the phones.
And now you can start to hear the shrieks.
Now if you weren't able to hear the woman yelled stop, stop, stop pulling...and then the video pans to shoppers swarming the phones.
But the most eye-catching part of the video is when you see a woman clinging on to her item...as people from the crowd try to take it away from her.
Now I want you to keep an eye on this woman in white.
Watch as members from the crowd try to drag her back...away from the boxes of phones. Then one man puts his hand on her mouth as others try to take away the phone. >
Thank you, Austin.
13WMAZ also tried to reach the poster who published that video.
Walmart spokesman Randy Hargove told 13wmaz this was an isolated incident that does not reflect safe and successful black friday events across the country.
He says no one was injured and that they will evaluate the incident.
We'll let you know when we hear back from him.
In spite of all the potential for hassle we're talking about tonight...some shoppers tell us they brave the crowds ... on Black Friday...because the deals save them lots of money.
13wmaz talked to managers and staff at the Macon Mall...Bass Pro Shop and Shoppes at River Crossing who say Black Friday was a good business day for them.
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Some local retailers say the crowds that fill up the store... and the slashed prices...add to the store's bottom line.
At Bass Pro Shop in Macon...they had crowds today...and on Thanksgiving day...that were lured into stores.
The retailers we talked to say they think this is a good sign for the rest of the holiday season.
13WMAZ's Tom George found much the same thing in Warner Robins... with cash registers from department stores to electronics retailers...ringing in a day's worth of profits.
He asked them if the foot traffic met their Black Friday expectations.
With early morning rush over ... Late risers, still woke up for some bargain hunting.
<that's correct ... Sleep in a little bit, and still get some great deals. >
The Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development reports 22...that's about one out of five... percent of Georgians will take care of at least some of their shopping on Black Friday.
<it tend to be that they're gravitating towards everything .. We have the electric appliance this morning .. I mean they sold out pretty quick, but it seems to be everything this year. >
At JC Penney's at the Galleria Mall in Warner Robins, managers say they should have a good year.
<it honestly looks like the traffic is a little better than last year, we've had a lot of customers coming in the store and the reaction has generally been positive.>
Radio Shack managers says although they are on target for sales for the day, turnout was a little slower after the morning boom.
< As the mornings progress, that's when the mellowness comes down, everybody kind of chills out, and then the sales take from there .. In the morning, it's kind of hectic, jampacked, compared to last year it's a lot calmer, a lot calmer.>
<it's the middle of the day right now, and you can see the crowds have kind of tapered, but some customers say sleeping in and coming in a little later, doesn't mean you can't get you hands on some deals. >
<I got a total value of 208 and I only paid 20 dollars WOW>
A win for conusmers ... And retailers alike.
<they had a list, folks definitely still have lists this year, that was the same as I saw last year, but it was fun, it's still fun, it still feels exciting>
In Warner Robins, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
The study also showed around half of shoppers plan to spend the same amount as they did last year ... And that Georgians plan to spend an average of $970 for all their gifts.
Here's an update on a story we brought you earlier this week...that's gotten national attention.
A conservative anti-tax activist is criticizing U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss...for saying he may support a tax increase.
This week, Georgia's senior senator told 13WMAZ's Kenny Burgamy that he may break his 20-year-old pledge to oppose any federal tax hike.
Activist Grover Norquist created and supported that pledge.
Today...he released a statement that said....in part....
"If he plans to vote for higher taxes to pay for Obama-sized government...he should address the people of Georgia and let them know that he plans to break his promise to them."
Chambliss is among several Republicans who say they would consider a tax increase... as part of a debt deal with President Obama.
He is expected to run for a third term in the Senate...in 2014.
An update on a kidnapping in Jeff Davis County...as the man accused of taking a fourteen year old girl...is arrested halfway across the country...and his alleged victim makes it home safe five months later.
Our sister station KUSA in Denver reports that....
35-year-old Michael Dempsey was taken in Wednesday on a kidnapping warrant.
The Park County sheriff's department in Colorado says the girl is in good physical condition...and was put back on a plane to Georgia on Thanksgiving morning.
They do not identify the girl...but according to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children...authorities began searching for Dempsey after a 14-year-old disappeared from her Hazelhurst home back in June.
They said the two apparently left together...on his motorcycle.
No word yet on where they've been...or how they were found in Colorado.
We could not reach the GBI...or the Jeff Davis Sheriff's Department...for further comment.
The Park County sheriff's office says Dempsey is being held...without bond.
Thanks for joining us. We'll be back tonight at 11.
And of course it's Football Friday night, immediately after that.
Wheel of Fortune's Next.
Have a safe night everyone.