Power shoppers were out in force Friday as thousands of people
hit stores across Oklahoma on what those in the industry call "Black
Friday" -- the biggest shopping day of the year.
Darlene Coffey, who was visiting Oklahoma from Kansas, had to
stand in a line stretching four stores away just to get into K-B
toys at Quail Springs Mall. She wanted an inflatable chair on sale
for $8 -- $20 off regular price.
"I just didn't know how many people would be here or I would have
come earlier," she said.
Crystal Ray was in line to buy a computer game and a rescue hero
action figure for her son. She passed the time scanning the sale
K-B toys employee John Lawson was the ultimate gatekeeper. It was
up to him when to allow another dozen or so shoppers enter the store
because it would be dangerous to let them all in at once.
"A fire hazard is what we'd be dealing with," Lawson said.
The toy store opened at 5 a.m., an hour earlier than Wal-Mart and
Toys R Us. There was a line extending six stores down the mall
before it opened. And by the time some shoppers made it inside, K-B
toys had sold out of what they wanted.
The store was out of scooters by about 7 a.m.
Debbie Varner waited in line for almost two hours to buy two
Mickey Mouse train sets on sale for $19 each, which are regularly
$50. Varner already had claimed a free snow globe from JCPenney and
a Dalmatian Beanie Baby from The Disney Store because she was the
second person through the door.
While Varner was rushing around, Woxie Ryal was relaxing in a
cushioned chair outside Sears. He was playing chauffeur to his wife
and 11-year-old granddaughter.
Ryal was one of several men sitting in chairs throughout Quail
Springs Mall surrounded by piles of shopping bags.
Downtown holiday festivities
The KOCO-TV Festival of Lights Parade and other holiday
festivities are scheduled at the Myriad Botanical Gardens on
The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. with the Salvation Army holiday
tree lighting at the Myriad Gardens. The annual Saturday with Santa
kids' event is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and admission to the
Crystal Bridge will be free after 4:30 p.m.
The parade will start at the corner of Couch and Hudson, go south
to Sheridan and east to Mickey Mantle Drive in Bricktown. The parade
is expected to end at 7 p.m.
New at Express
Express Services had hired five new employees
Terese Irwin is the new administrative assistant. She was
assistant to the network systems administrator of Advance Alarms.
LeQuita Ackles is a workers compensation assistant. She was a
payroll clerk for Tyson Foods in Alabama.
Dena Jerrie Snyder is a senior financial accountant. She was a
bank examiner for the State Banking Department and an accountant at
Christy Yakel is a graphic designer. She was a graphic artist for
Thomas Day is a programmer analyst. He was a senior programmer
analyst for Netplex Group and Climate Masters.
Seeking Dome funds
State officials have asked U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts to write
legislation clarifying the law regarding the use of federal
transportation funds so that $3.6 million in federal enhancement
funds can be used on the state Capitol dome project.
Watts, R-Okla., has agreed to help, but a spokesman said there
may be few opportunities to add any such projects to the spending
bills remaining to be passed by Congress. Watts will pursue other
State Transportation Secretary Neal McCaleb showed Watts the law
regarding enhancement funds and asked him to write legislation that
would clarify the law and qualify the dome project.
State officials have been frustrated by the Federal Highway
Administration's interpretation that the Capitol dome project
doesn't qualify for enhancement funds.
Enhancement funds are used for a variety of transportation-
related projects, such as welcome centers and historic railroad
depots, but are not used for highway repairs and construction. …