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Daily brief (11/25): Top picks from the Springfield media

Sunny, with a high near 57. Wind chill values as low as 36 early.

A cold front is going to move into the area today.

Chance for scattered rain showers on Monday with totals  expected to remain below a quarter of an inch. It is going to be a cold day with highs only in the 40s under the clouds.

Tuesday will be sunny with a high near 43 and a low around 28.

Temperatures will warm back into the 50s by Wednesday. There is another chance for light rain late Thursday and early Friday with highs in the  60s and lows around the 40s.

Today’s picks

  • News-Leader Opportunities for Ozarkers to give this holiday season. There are many ways to help others this holiday season. For instance, while out buying gifts for friends and family, shoppers can toss a few items in the cart for the many charitable organizations in the Ozarks that assist people in need. Organizations collecting donations include the Kitchen, Crosslines, Ozarks Food Harvest, Toys for Tots, Harmony House and many others. Almost anything you might buy for your own home and family can be helpful to others somewhere, whether it be toys, cleaning products, sports equipment, winter clothes, hygiene items, bedding and more.  However, for individuals, families or businesses seeking to give, there are more ways to help than shopping. Those who have limited cash this time of year can still help by volunteering their time.A primary way to do that is take part in the 121-year-old tradition as a bell ringer.
  • OzarksFirst: Black Friday sales down from 2011 numbers. Thanksgiving shopping took a noticeable bite out of Black Friday’s start to the holiday season, as the latest survey found retail sales fell slightly from last year. Saturday’s report from retail technology company ShopperTrak finds consumers spent $11.2 billion at stores across the U.S. That is down 1.8 percent from last year’s total.  This year’s Friday results may have been tempered by hundreds of thousands of shoppers hitting sales Thursday evening while still full of Thanksgiving dinner. Retailers including Sears, Target and Wal-Mart got their deals rolling as early as 8 p.m. on Turkey Day.  Meanwhile, IBM says online sales rose 17.4 percent on Thanksgiving and 20.7 percent on Black Friday, compared with 2011.
  • KSPR: Farmers market offers Chrstmas gifts that are green, local and handmade. If you are looking for another alternative for Christmas gift shopping you may find the the answer locally. The Farmers Market of the Ozarks released their Holiday Gift Guide, encouraging people to buy and shop local.  The guide includes gift sets with handmade soaps and candles, gift certificates, farm shares as well as an overview of some of their year round products. The Farmers Market has a rotating schedule through out the year but can be found at 4139 South Nature Way from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday through out the winter.
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