Ledger/LCJ newsletter 11-26-2021
The Ledger/LCJ newsletter for Friday
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Stores kick off Black Friday but pandemic woes linger
By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers are expected to usher in the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season Friday with bigger crowds than last year in a closer step toward normalcy. But the fallout from the pandemic continues to weigh on businesses and shoppers' minds.
Buoyed by solid hiring, healthy pay gains and substantial savings, customers are returning to stores and splurging on all types of items. But the spike has also resulted in limited selection across the board as suppliers and retailers have been caught flat-footed.
Shortages of shipping containers and truckers have helped to delay deliveries while inflation continues to creep. The combination of not finding the right item at the right price — in addition to a labor shortage that makes it more difficult for businesses to respond to customer needs — could make for a less festive mood.
Shoppers are expected to pay on average of between 5% to 17% more for toys, clothing, appliances, TVs and others purchases on Black Friday this year compared with last year, according to Aurelien Duthoit, senior sector advisor at Allianz Research. TVs will see the highest price hike on average, up 17% from a year ago, according to the research firm. That's because whatever discounts available will be applied to goods that are already expensive.
"I think it is going to be a messy holiday season," said Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail. "It will be a bit frustrating for retailers, consumers and the workers. We are going to see long lines. We are going to see messier stores. We are going to see delays as you collect online orders."
For years, Black Friday has been losing importance. Since 2011, stores jumpstarted the holiday shopping season by opening their doors on Thanksgiving to compete with Amazon and other rising online threats. But the shift merely cannibalized Black Friday sales. The shopping bonanza was further diluted when stores started marketing Black Friday sales for the full week and then later for the month.
The pandemic further diminished the importance of the Black Friday event, though some experts still believe it will again be the busiest day of the year. Last year, retailers started to offer the big holiday sales earlier in October in an effort to spread out shopping for safety reasons and to smooth out online shipping peaks. They also got rid of the Thanksgiving Day in-store shopping event and pushed all their discounts online. This year, retailers are embracing a similar strategy, though they are now pushing holiday discounts in stores as well.
Despite all the challenges, experts believe that sales for the Thanksgiving week and overall season will be strong.
U.S. retail sales, excluding auto and gas, from this past Monday through Sunday are expected to increase 10% from last year and 12.2% from the 2019 holiday season, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures overall retail sales across all payment types including cash and check.
Online sales are forecast to increase 7.1% for that week, a slowdown from the massive 46.4% gain in the same period a year ago when shoppers collectively pivoted to the internet instead of shopping in person, according to Mastercard. For the overall holiday season, online sales should increase 10% from a year ago, compared with a 33% increase last year, according to Adobe Digital Economy Index.
Sales on Black Friday are expected to surge 20% from a year ago as store traffic comes back.
For the November and December period, the National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, predicts that sales will increase between 8.5% and 10.5%. Holiday sales increased 8.2% in 2020 when shoppers, locked down during the early part of the pandemic, spent their money on pajamas and home goods.
Poteau to play Tuttle Friday
The top two teams in Class 4A will meet in one of the two Class 4A semifinals 7 p.m. at Jenks High School’s Allen Trimble Field.
The winner advances to next week’s championship game against the winner of the Clinton-Elk City game, which is 7 p.m. Friday at Southwestern in Weatherford.
The Ledger will live stream the Poteau and Tuttle game, with the broadcast starting shortly before kickoff. You can watch the game on either the Ledger facebook page at Facebook.com/Heavenerledger or the LeFlore County Journal Facebook page at Facebook.com/LefloreCountyJournal.com or on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/CraigHall2021
Tuttle was ranked first and is 12-0 while Poteau is 11-1 with its only loss against Shiloh Christian, which won a state championship last year in Arkansas.
The last meeting came in 2018 when Tuttle beat Poteau, 21-11, also at Jenks. Tuttle advanced on to win state in that year while Poteau was state champs in 2019.
The game matches an offensive power in Poteau, which averages 44 points a game while Tuttle has given up only 70 points this season, an average of 5.5 points per game.
Poteau allows only 13.4 points per game while Tuttle scores 36 points per game
Blanchard is the only common opponent. Tuttle defeated the Lions, 14-13, in the final regular season game while the Pirates downed Blanchard, 45-14 last week.
Oklahoma faces stout Cowboys defense
By CLIFF BRUNT AP Sports Writer
The heat of Bedlam is on for Oklahoma freshman quarterback Caleb Williams.
Oklahoma's shot at its seventh straight Big 12 title is in jeopardy heading into Saturday's game at Oklahoma State. If Baylor beats Texas Tech and No. 10 Oklahoma loses to No. 7 Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1 Big 12, No. 7 CFP), Oklahoma will fall short of the title game and the streak will end.
If Oklahoma wins, there will be a rematch with Oklahoma State for the championship the following week.
There's more. Any chances the Sooners (10-1, 7-1, No. 10 CFP) have of reaching the College Football Playoff rest on Williams' ability to navigate Oklahoma State's senior-dominated defense. Cowboys defensive coordinator Jim Knowles' unit ranks second nationally in scoring defense, third in total defense and first in third-down defense.
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley believes Williams can handle the pressure, even after rough outings against Baylor and Iowa State the past two weeks.
"It's just feel for the game, feel for how you're being defended, feel for what you've got to do in given moments to move the football and keep us marching down the field," Riley said. "His capability mentally and physically is not an issue, really anywhere."
Even when he struggles, Williams has spectacular moments. Last week, he broke a 74-yard run against Iowa State. For the season, he has completed 66% of his passes with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has rushed for six touchdowns and 6.7 yards per carry.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is most impressed with Williams' arm strength and athletic ability.
"We've faced quarterbacks that have similar qualities this year," he said. "I'm not sure they all have the same package that he has at once, but we have faced some guys that can move around well in the pocket, they can throw it and can get out and cause some problems; and that's what he has done."
Oklahoma State's defense has kicked it into high gear the past four weeks, allowing just 23 points and one defensive touchdown. That's why the Cowboys have earned a spot in the Big 12 title game, regardless of Saturday's outcome. And the Cowboys, like the Sooners, still have an outside shot at the playoff.
But Oklahoma still ranks 10th nationally in scoring offense and has scored at least 50 points four times this season.
"What's on everybody's mind is the last couple of games," Riley said. "We've been hit and miss offensively. You know, everybody forgets, we've had a lot of moments with this offense, especially the back half the year where we've lit people up. We still have that ability. We have that capability."
Riley said a possible rematch with Oklahoma State doesn't change much for the Sooners.
"The potential is unique, but it's on us to win," he said. "I approach this like every other one."
Gundy has talked to his team about the odd situation.
"The decision that we made is completely considering the championship game irrelevant and a bonus," he said. "We're playing this game like it wasn't even there, like years ago when we didn't have a championship."
Oklahoma State has averaged 268 yards rushing during its four-game win streak. The Cowboys exploded for 489 yards rushing against TCU in a 63-17 win.
Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch said a big part of Oklahoma State's success comes from offensive linemen he calls "road graders" -- guys who move the line of scrimmage.
"Guys use the term winning the line of scrimmage, and you just know you make note of that as you're watching on film," Grinch said. "You're seeing the opposite color jersey from a defensive standpoint going in the wrong direction and the offense going kind of like a wave going downfield, and obviously, the tailbacks doing a great job of finding the crease and then kind of making you pay for it."
Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders sometimes was error-prone early in his career. But during the Cowboys' win streak, he has thrown just one interception.
"You've seen, I think probably, making a few less mistakes," Riley said. "You know, he's always been a tremendous athlete. Everybody's known that. But he's obviously running well, in fact, with his legs, and then and I do think he's really improved in the throw game."
Oklahoma's Gabe Brkic was one of the nation's best kickers for most of the season, but he's had a rough go lately. He missed two field goals against Baylor two weeks ago and missed a 25-yarder against Iowa State last week. He's only made two of his past six attempts.
Still, he has made five of seven from at least 50 yards this season.
"No other kicker I'd rather go into a game like this with," Riley said. "When you do that for a living, you're going to miss some every now and then. He's made his share and he'll make them Saturday night."
AVOID THE TV
Oklahoma tight end Jeremiah Hall said the Sooners won't be paying attention to the Baylor-Texas Tech game.
That game kicks off more than seven hours before the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State showdown. If Texas Tech wins, Oklahoma will clinch a spot in the Big 12 title game.
"I think we're going to wake up, we're going to prepare for our game, do what we normally do and aim to win," he said. "We're not worried about the results of those guys. We have our own game to play, so we're going to be ready for that one. Honestly, I'm not even thinking about what's going on down there in Waco."
LeFlore County weather 11-26-2021
Another beautiful day is forecast for Friday in LeFlore County with clear skies, a high of 57 degrees and low of 34 degrees.
Thursday’s high was 50, with a low of 21.
Sunrise is at 7:04 a.m. Sunset is 5:07 p.m.
Average temperatures for the date are a high of 58 and a low of 38.
Records for the date were a high of 80 in 1965. The record low was 21 in 1975.
One year ago, on Nov. 26, 2020, the high was 66. The low was 36.
County calendar of events
The LeFlore County calendar of events. It lists the upcoming events in the area. This is a free service so if you or your group have an event coming up and would like it added to the calendar, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
High school football: Poteau vs. Tuttle
LeFlore County commissioners meet 9 a.m.
Poteau Evening Lions Club meet 6 p.m. CASC
Poteau Rotary Club meets noon at EOMC
Kiwanis Club meets noon at Western Sizzlin’
Heavener VFW bingo 6 p.m. Highway 59 North
HUA, City Council meets 6 p.m.
Shockley Auto Blast from the past 11-25-2021
Today’s Blast from the past is sponsored by Shockley Auto Sales in Poteau.
Blast from the past is a feature we run showing an image of the people, places and events from the past.
If you have a picture to use, email email@example.com with as much information as possible.
Former OK Foods owner Collier Wenderoth speaks at the ground breaking event for the new plant in Heavener. Also pictured behind him are former Governor George Nigh, far right, Barbara Hall, center, and Jim Hamilton, far left.
Today in history 11-26-2021
By The Associated Press
Today is Friday, Nov. 26, the 330th day of 2021. There are 35 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Nov. 26, 1941, U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull delivered a note to Japan's ambassador to the United States, Kichisaburo Nomura (kee-chee-sah-boor-oh noh-moo-rah), setting forth U.S. demands for "lasting and extensive peace throughout the Pacific area." The same day, a Japanese naval task force consisting of six aircraft carriers left the Kuril Islands, headed toward Hawaii.
On this date:
In 1825, the first college social fraternity, the Kappa Alpha Society, was formed at Union College in Schenectady, New York.
In 1864, English mathematician and writer Charles Dodgson presented a handwritten and illustrated manuscript, "Alice's Adventures Under Ground," to his 12-year-old friend Alice Pleasance Liddell; the book was later turned into "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," published under Dodgson's pen name, Lewis Carroll.
In 1883, former slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth died in Battle Creek, Michigan.
In 1917, the National Hockey League was founded in Montreal, succeeding the National Hockey Association.
In 1933, a judge in New York ruled the James Joyce book "Ulysses" was not obscene and could be published in the United States.
In 1943, during World War II, the HMT Rohna, a British transport ship carrying American soldiers, was hit by a German missile off Algeria; 1,138 men were killed.
In 1950, China entered the Korean War, launching a counteroffensive against soldiers from the United Nations, the U.S. and South Korea.
In 1973, President Richard Nixon's personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods, told a federal court that she'd accidentally caused part of the 18-1/2-minute gap in a key Watergate tape.
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed a commission headed by former Sen. John Tower to investigate his National Security Council staff in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair.
In 1990, Japanese business giant Matsushita (mat-soosh-tah) Electric Industrial Co. agreed to acquire MCA Corp., owner of Universal Studios, for $6.6 billion.
In 2000, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris certified George W. Bush the winner over Al Gore in the state's presidential balloting by a 537-vote margin.
In 2008, teams of heavily armed Pakistani gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in Mumbai, India, leaving at least 166 people dead in a rampage lasting some 60 hours.
Ten years ago: In a friendly-fire incident that further strained relations between the United States and Pakistan, U.S. forces launched airstrikes that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops at two posts along the Afghan border. NASA's Curiosity rover blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center on an 8 1/2-month, 354 million-mile journey to Mars (it arrived in August 2012). NBA players and owners reached a tentative agreement to end a 149-day lockout.
Five years ago: Cuba said it would observe nine days of mourning for Fidel Castro, including a three-day journey by his ashes along the route taken by the rebel army he'd led on a victorious march across the island in 1959. Tony Award-winning character actor Fritz Weaver died in New York at age 90.
One year ago: Taking questions from reporters for the first time since the election, President Donald Trump acknowledged that he would leave the White House if Democrat Joe Biden's win was affirmed by the Electoral College; Trump also unleashed another round of complaints about the vote. Americans marked the Thanksgiving holiday amid the coronavirus pandemic, with many celebrations canceled or reduced; Zoom and FaceTime calls connected some families with those who didn't want to travel. With public health officials begging Americans not to travel, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was scaled back and aimed at a television audience instead of live crowds.
Today's Birthdays: Impressionist Rich Little is 83. Singer Tina Turner is 82. Singer Jean Terrell is 77. Pop musician John McVie is 76. Actor Marianne Muellerleile is 73. Actor Scott Jacoby is 65. Actor Jamie Rose is 62. Country singer Linda Davis is 59. Actor Scott Adsit is 56. Blues singer-musician Bernard Allison is 56. Country singer-musician Steve Grisaffe is 56. Actor Kristin Bauer is 55. Actor Peter Facinelli is 48. Actor Tammy Lynn Michaels Etheridge is 47. DJ/record label executive DJ Khaled (KAL'-ehd) is 46. Actor Maia (MY'-ah) Campbell is 45. Country singer Joe Nichols is 45. Contemporary Christian musicians Anthony and Randy Armstrong (Red) are 43. Actor Jessica Bowman is 41. Pop singer Natasha Bedingfield is 40. Actor Jessica Camacho is 39. Rock musician Ben Wysocki (The Fray) is 37. Singer Lil Fizz is 36. MLB All-Star Matt Carpenter is 36. Actor-singer-TV personality Rita Ora is 31. Actor/singer Aubrey Peeples is 28.