As Black Friday bleeds into Thanksgiving Day, the frenzy surrounding one of the busiest shopping days of the year has grown and, in some instances, led to violence or even deaths. Here is a look at some recent incidents that have marred one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Tragedy in New York
In 2008, a Wal-Mart employee was killed when hundreds of shoppers stampeded through the doors as the store, located about 20 miles east of Manhattan, opened at 5 a.m. According to the New York Times, other workers were trampled when they tried to help the man, and at least four other people — including a woman who was eight months pregnant — were injured. Police estimates put the crowd gathered outside the store in the pre-dawn hours at about 2,000.
Fight over toys turns deadly
An argument between two women at a Toys R Us store in Palm Desert, Calif., ended with two others dead on Black Friday in 2008. The argument, for which no reason was given, intensified into a fistfight between two men who were accompanying the women, according to the Palm Springs Desert Sun. They then pulled out handguns and began shooting at each other as panicked shoppers fled the store. Both men ended up shot to death.
In 2011, the scene at a Los Angeles Wal-Mart turned chaotic when a 33-year-old woman allegedly released pepper spray into a crowd of shoppers as a selection of electronics was unveiled. The Los Angeles Times reported that a police lieutenant described the incident as “customer-versus-customer shopping rage,” recounting a scene where people were screaming as they were shoved into display boxes. The woman eluded police, and store surveillance video failed to provide a clear description of her amid the mayhem.
A 21-year-old woman in Madison, Wis., was arrested in 2010 after cutting in line in front of several hundred shoppers at a Toys R Us store. She was charged with disorderly conduct after she allegedly threatened other shoppers who confronted her, saying she would pull out a gun and shoot them. “Everybody was cutting in line,” Lanessa Lattimore told CNN. “I just wanted to get my daughter the toy she wanted for Christmas.”
Gift certificates gone wrong
Instead of holding a drawing to give away gift certificates or handing them out on Black Friday in 2006, officials at a shopping center in Torrance, Calif., thought it would be fun to drop them from the ceiling. Big mistake. A free-for-all erupted as an estimated 2,000 shoppers scrambled to grab one of the 500 gift certificates. Among the 10 people injured in the melee was an elderly woman who was transported to a nearby hospital. The mall’s marketing director, Sam Carpenter, told the Associated Press that management was “completely overwhelmed” by the turnout for the promotion.
Stampede at Target
The scene at a Target store in Buffalo turned chaotic in 2010 when anxious shoppers rushed through the entrance as the doors opened at 4 a.m. on Black Friday.
Fracas over cell phones
A female customer was punched in the face when shoppers scrambled to snatch up "Straight Talk" phones as they were released at a Benton, Mich., Wal-Mart store in 2011.
Some crazed Wal-Mart shoppers rushed a towel rack on Black Friday in 2011.
Charging into Urban Outfitters
A giant crowd swarms through the entrance of an Urban Outfitters store in Thousand Oaks, Calif., in 2011.
--Information compiled from media reports
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Edmond School District’s change orders anticipated
When building new schools and classrooms there may be additional costs, but when renovating older buildings those costs can more than double, according to a Edmond School District official.
“When remodeling, you have unknown and hidden costs and you need to include in your budgeted funds for the built-in items you can not see,” said Bret Towne, Edmond’s associate superintendent of general administration.
OC welcomes missionary, military families
For the ninth consecutive year Oklahoma Christian University will host missionary and military families returning to the United States at Global Reunion 2014.
The July 23-27 camp has doubled in size in the last two years with 150 participants from 43 countries on campus.
The camp is for children who are known as Third Culture Kids (TCKs) though parents are allowed to attend sessions as well. Directors Kent and Nancy Hartman, missionaries-in-residence at OC, give tools and resources to families that have lived outside the United States and are now seeking to reenter U.S. culture. The Hartmans spent more than 10 years as missionaries in Australia and were surprised by the challenges of reintegrating their family into America.
Planning Commission approves rezoning
The Edmond Planning Commission this week voted 4-0 in favor of rezoning from a single family district. Peter and Kimberly Roberts made the request to allow a planned unit development on the southeast corner of Jackson and Lincoln Avenue, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.
“They would like to have D-2 family (neighborhood commercial) zoning for duplexes, 14,000 square feet,” Schiermeyer said. “They can put four units on the property.”
Out of the stressful wreckage: Scholarships for car crash victims
After the dust has settled, the injuries have healed and there’s a replacement car in the driveway, victims of automobile accidents often still face an uphill battle trying to move on with their lives. According to psychologists, for some the fear never really goes away. It’s common enough that the National Institutes of Health gives physicians specific recommendations for patients exhibiting acute stress symptoms and PTSD after motor vehicle accidents. With more than 3 million injury accidents a year nationwide, the San Francisco Bay Area personal injury law firm Appel Law Firm LLP, sees their share of the aftermath — only they decided to do something about it.
Agencies ask for volunteers to support grandparents who raise grandchildren
Local law enforcement agencies are helping Sunbeam Family Services provide much-needed school supplies to grandparents who are faced with the challenge of raising their grandchildren. According to a recent census poll, there are nearly three million grandparents raising more than five million grandchildren in the United States.
Ganns earn Yard of the Week honors
This week’s “Edmond Yard of the Week” winner has been in existence for 44 years at 105 Barbara Drive, but looks fresh and new thanks to longtime residents Betty and Gordon Gann as they fill their garden spaces to overflowing with colors and textures.
Krazy Daze hits downtown Edmond
Newly transplanted Edmond residents Hannah Brenning, Cheyenne Middle School 8th grader; Jordan Brenning, Cross Timbers 4th grader; and Sydney Brenning, North High School freshman; check out the items in front of Sterling's in downtown Edmond during the Krazy Daze Sale lasting through Saturday. Businesses will open their doors at 10 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m.
Chances for rain to follow triple-digit highs
Chances for rain on multiple days will follow near triple-digit highs during the weekend.
A National Weather Service-issued heat advisory is in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday and afternoon temperatures are expected to top out in the upper 90s to lower 100s into the weekend. Maximum heat-index values will range from the upper 90s to 105-110 degrees through Sunday.
Cooler weather is expected next week as a strong cold front passes over the region.
Candidates disagree with White House’s minimum wage
Gubernatorial candidate Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs, said the state needs to have serious growth in high-paying living wage jobs that will provide for Oklahomans.
Dorman cautioned that while Oklahoma’s jobless rate improved in June, the state’s rankings for the well-being of children has dropped from 36th to 39th place, for one of the largest declines in the U.S., according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Project.
The unemployment rate in June dropped to 4.5 percent, down a percentage point from 4.6 percent in May, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Gov. Mary Fallin said this week.
The state’s unemployment rate was more than 7 percent when Fallin was elected during the brink of the Great Depression. Alex Weintz, communications director for Fallin, pointed out that per capita income in Oklahoma was second in the nation from 2011 to 2013.
The non partisan Congressional Budget office reported in February that raising the minimum wage could kill a half-million jobs in the United States.
According to The Washington Times, CBO analysts reported, “Once the other changes in income were taken into account, families whose income would be below six times the poverty threshold under current law would see a small increase in income, on net, and families whose income would be higher under current law would see reductions in income, on net.”
President Barack Obama in February signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour.
Weintz said the governor believes tax cuts have enabled families to keep more of their money.
No one is talking about the under-employment rate of families working minimum wage jobs, Dorman said.
“It’s all fine and good when you have fast-food jobs that don’t cover the bills and that counts toward your unemployment rate.”
Oklahoma’s minimum wage reflects the federal minimum wage set at $7.25 an hour, a standard set in 2009.
Fallin signed legislation this year to prohibit municipalities from raising their local minimum wage above $7.25 an hour.
“If the minimum wage goes up to $15 in Oklahoma City, all of the sudden you would drive retail, business, service industry locations outside of the city limits and that would be detrimental to the economy, consumers and to businesses,” Weintz said.
Fallin has said that she opposes raising the minimum wage in Oklahoma because it would stifle job growth for small business and lay off workers. A lot of people earning the $7.25 minimum wage are part-time workers and many of them are students, Weintz said.
“We believe raising the minimum wage is not a good way to address poverty,” Weintz said. “A lot of people earning the minimum wage are actually people living with their parents or other people who are employed full time, and in many cases they are middle class families. So it’s not a good tool to reduce poverty.”
Dorman said he does not necessarily support the proposed $10.10 an hour minimum federal minimum wage that is being discussed by Congress.
“I think we need to have a living wage in Oklahoma that is reflective of our economy,” Dorman said.
About 102,300 jobs have been added in Oklahoma since Fallin took office in January 2011, according to her office.
The cost of living in the national economy tends to be higher in some other states, Dorman said.
So a minimum wage increase should be tied to economic gains so that families can pay their bills and afford to care for their children, Dorman said.
Independent candidates for governor include Richard Prawdzienski of Edmond, Joe Sills of Oklahoma City and Kimberly Willis of Oklahoma City.
Firefighters sharpen forced entry skills
Of all burglaries, 60.5 percent involved forcible entry, according to recent FBI statistics.
As a result, many home and businesses are installing a greater number of complex mechanisms on their doors and windows. Edmond Fire Maj. Joe Elam said 10 local firefighters recently sharpened their skills during a forcible entry class offered by IRONS and LADDERS, LLC., of Lawrence, Kan.
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