News for Sunday, November 25, 2012

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Holiday shopping season off to record start

If you make holiday shopping convenient, Americans will come in droves. It's estimated that U.S. shoppers hit stores and websites at record numbers over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation on Sunday. They were attracted by retailers' efforts to make shopping easier, including opening stores on Thanksgiving evening, updating mobile shopping applications for smartphones and tablets, and expanding shipping and layaway options. All told, a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the four-day weekend starting on Thanksgiving, up 9.2 percent of last year, according to a survey of 4,000 shoppers that was conducted by research firm BIGinsight for the trade group. Americans spent more too: The average holiday shopper spent $423 over the entire weekend, up from $398. Total spending over the four-day weekend totaled $59.1 billion, up 12.8 percent from 2011. Caitlyn Maguire, 21, was one of the shoppers that took advantage of all the new conveniences of shopping this year. Maguire, who lives in New York, began buying on Thanksgiving night at Target's East Harlem store. During the two-hour wait in line, she also bought items on her iPhone on Amazon.com. On Friday, she picked up a few toys at Toys R Us. And on Saturday she was out at the stores again.

Manning's 2 TDs leads Broncos past Chiefs, 17-9

Peyton Manning was wooed by the Chiefs early in the offseason, after the four-time MVP had been cut loose by Indianapolis and before he signed a five-year deal with Denver. On Sunday, he showed exactly why Kansas City was after him. Manning threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns, and led the Broncos down the field in the final minutes when the Chiefs were frantically trying to get a stop, setting up a field goal that sealed a 17-9 victory and their sixth consecutive win. It allowed Manning to break a tie with his boss and Broncos vice president John Elway with his 149th win as a starting quarterback, trailing only Brett Favre (186) for most in NFL history.

Nuggets beat New Orleans 102-84

Andre Iguodala scored 23 points, Kenneth Faried had his eighth double-double of the season and the Denver Nuggets beat the struggling New Orleans Hornets 102-84 on Sunday night. Iguodala was coming off a 29-point effort against Golden State. Faried had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Denver, winners of four straight. Ty Lawson had 17 points and six assists for the Nuggets who are 4-1 at home. Reserve Brian Roberts led New Orleans with 17 points. Ryan Anderson added 16, but was held scoreless in the second half.

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Craig brothers selected for national football tournament

A tandem of brothers from Craig will be playing with the best in the U.S. when the new year rolls around. Cole White attends Craig Middle School and was the starting quarterback for the seventh-grade football team this season. His brother, Seth, 9, was a running back in the Doak Walker third- and fourth-grade league during September and October. Both attended an offense-defense football camp in June at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood. The O-D camps are full-contact camps held across the country for players ages 7 to 18. O-D camp leaders also select top players to come back and play in games as well as participate in elite camps later in the year.

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Salvation Army Red Kettle fundraising campaign under way

90 percent of funds raised in Craig stays in Moffat County

Black Friday may be synonymous with the start of the holiday shopping rush, but it also marks the beginning of one of the largest fundraising campaigns in the country. Armed with Christmas bells, volunteers across the United States rang in the Christmas season Friday, signaling the start of the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. The fundraiser is organized locally by the Salvation Army’s Service Extension Unit in Moffat County and runs on weekends from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.

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Parade of Lights wows with huge field of participants

Wyman Museum repeats with top float honors, Parrot Heads take second

For about an hour Saturday night Christmas came early as the Parade of Lights rolled through downtown Craig. And the annual event, hosted by the Craig Lions Club and the Downtown Business Association, didn’t disappoint. “There was a time when it wasn’t much more than a couple of (police) SUVs, a fire truck and maybe two or three floats,” said Craig resident Dave Pike. “Now I think it has grown into the best parade in Craig and I think people really went all out on their float designs this year.”

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Monday Morning Chat: Five minutes with Mozart the cat, greeter at Kester Jewelry

Note: Mozart’s answers to questions were relayed through store owner Ron Kester Hometown: “He was born and raised in Craig.” Age: “14 and a half human years, 85 cat years.” Job title: “Greeter and pretty much the boss.”

Senior Spotlight for November 26, 2012

Enjoyed the Parade of Lights. Thanks to all who took part in it. I've been in a few parades and the time that goes into getting ready to get the float, vehicle, etc. ready is something. Weather is another factor. We got soaked one time. Had a ninety some year old friend on board. VFW float. Irene Eckart. She was terrific, enjoyed it and made us feel more able to bear with the rain all. Someone managed to get us an umbrella, but we were wet already so she and I passed it on to someone else.

Al Cashion: Bad Timing

Thanksgiving was last Thursday. I say that as if it were news you could use. It would have been news I could have used if I had come to that realization before last Monday’s column. It would have been timely to write nice things about gratitude and thankfulness and giving thanks and Whom to thank before the annual Thursday event in which we say nice things about gratitude and thankfulness and giving thanks and Whom to thank and watch football. All my calendars are sneaky. Holidays happen sporadically. Special days magically appear last week. I’ve bought more “Belated” birthday cards than any other brand. Walking three miles a day, plenty of rest, three squares a day for three weeks, a professional massage, two complete sessions with a six DVD set of Tony Robbins motivational seminars, a serious date with colonic cleansing and a good luck kiss from Swumbo should prepare almost anyone for a serious session of calendar planning.