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Barbies, books, basketballs and "Benjamins" (as in $100 bills) are playing major roles in this week's schedule for a variety of volunteers in Aiken, with collection and processing underway for the Salvation Army Angel Tree and Marine Corps League's Toys for Tots programs.

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Higher food prices worsen hunger crisis this holiday season

What many Americans hoped would be the first normal holiday season in three years has instead been thrown into crisis by inflation, with Christmas on the horizon

What many Americans hoped would be the first normal holiday season in three years has instead been thrown into crisis by inflation, with Christmas on the horizon. Food banks and charities across the country are reporting higher than expected levels of food insecurity as prices rise and food becomes less accessible to millions of American families.  Although the pandemic has largely faded, months of rising prices have driven working families back to the food bank lines. And that's left charitable organizations struggling to meet the demand. Read moreHigher food prices worsen hunger crisis this holiday season

College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams in 2024 season

The College Football Playoff says it will expand to a 12-team event starting in 2024

The College Football Playoff says it will expand to a 12-team event starting in 2024. The announcement came after the Rose Bowl agreed to amend its contract for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. That was the last hurdle CFP officials needed cleared to expand the four-team format. The expansion is expected to produce about $450 million in additional gross revenue for the conferences and schools that participate. The plan to expand the playoff was unveiled publicly in June 2021 and it took 18 months of haggling and delays to finally complete. Read moreCollege Football Playoff expands to 12 teams in 2024 season

The PGA Tour referred to Rory McIlroy and Lydia Ko as golf royalty because they ruled the golf world this year. They had great years, no doubt. But neither won a major. And when it comes the PGA Tour, such a label dismisses Scottie Scheffler and ignores Cameron Smith. Both won more than McIlroy. Each won a major. What men's golf had this year was three great years by three players. What makes McIlroy stand out is winning the points title on two tours. And mostly it's for his strong voice of support for the PGA Tour in its fight with LIV Golf. Read moreColumn: 3 great years in golf, 2 of them already forgotten

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