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RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) –  Students and staff at Benedict College held a candle light vigil for Rashee Hodges. Hodges was a college athlete whose life was cut short after being struck by a car on Sunday. Hodges basketball coach, Fred Watson, told WOLO that his life has been changed forever.

“This has definitely been the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Watson said.  “Calling his parents and telling them that their son passed away was hard.  It’s the worst nightmare for a coach.”

Hodges Funeral is scheduled for Saturday at Colleton County Middle School at 11 a.m.

Any students who need transportation can call 803-705-4784.

 

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– Drivers who use Sunset and North Main for their commute may want to look for a different route this week.

Richland County Officials say SCE&G will be closing the westbound lane of Sunset Drive at the intersection of Sunset Drive and North Main Street.

The closure will be between the hours of 7p.m. – 5a.m. daily through December  8th, weather permitting.

If you are traveling westbound on Sunset Drive toward North Main Street you will need to detour right, onto Phillips Street and then turn left onto Avondale Drive, say officials.

Drivers can then turn left onto North Main Street and then turn right to continue westbound on Sunset Drive. Traffic on North Main Street will flow as normal with reduced lane availability. Vehicles traveling from west to east on Sunset Drive will also flow as normal with reduced lane availability.

Deshaun WatsonClemson, S.C. (CAC)— Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson has been named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy for the second consecutive year.  He is the first player from any school named a Heisman finalist in consecutive years since Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M in 2012 and 2013.  Watson is the first ACC player to be a two-time Heisman Finalist as well.

Watson is joined on the list of Heisman finalists by Lamar Jackson of Louisville, Jabrill Peppers of Michigan, Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook of Oklahoma.

“This is a great honor for Deshaun and our program,” said Head Coach Dabo Swinney.  “You just don’t have a lot of two-time Heisman Finalists over the history of your program.  He is our first, and he’s very deserving. I’ve said it before; I believe he is the best player in the nation and has been a great representative of our University. College football is better over the last three years because of Deshaun Watson.”

Watson finished third in the Heisman voting last year behind winner Derrick Henry of Alabama and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.

The native of Gainesville, Georgia who is a junior in eligibility, but will receive his undergraduate degree on December 15, led Clemson to the ACC Championship last Saturday in a 42-35 victory over Virginia Tech. It was the second consecutive year Clemson has won the ACC title, the first time the program has done that in 28 years. Watson is the first Clemson quarterback to lead the Tigers to back-to-back conference crowns since Rodney Williams led Clemson to three straight from 1986-88.

Watson was 23-34 for 288 yards and three touchdowns passing and added a team best 85 yards rushing on 17 carries and scored twice against Virginia Tech. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the ACC Championship game for the second consecutive year.

The Tigers rank second in the final College Football Playoff Poll and will face Ohio State in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on December 31. It is the second consecutive year Clemson has made the College Football Playoff.

For the season, Watson has completed 329 of 487 passes for 3914 yards and 37 touchdowns. He ranks fourth in the nation in completions, fifth in touchdown passes, eighth in completion percentage and eighth in total offense. His 37 touchdown passes are a Clemson season record and second in ACC history behind the 40 Jameis Winston had when he won the Heisman in 2013. Watson has added 526 yards rushing, giving him 4440 yards of total offense.

Watson has finished strong, connecting on 138 of 186 passes for 1586 yards and 15 touchdowns over the last five games. That is a 74 percent completion percentage. He has had 20 touchdowns rushing and passing over the five games, including 11 in the last two games, and averaged 356.8 total offense yards per game for the last five contests.

Earlier on Monday, Watson was announced as the winner of the 2016 Chic Harley Award by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio.  The award has been presented each year since 1955 to the National Player of the Year through the conference championship weekend.

Watson won the Archie Griffin Award last year from the same organization.  It is presented to the top college player through the bowl season.  Watson will receive the award at the Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards banquet on Feb. 4, 2017.

Michael Slager, who faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder in the April 2015 death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, sits in a Charleston courtroom. (Grace Beahm/Post and Courier - Pool photo)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Gov. Nikki Haley says she’s urging South Carolinians to walk the path they have walked the past two years _ one of faith, love and understanding _ in the wake of the mistrial in the Michael Slager case.

Slager is the white former police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of Walter Scott, an unarmed black motorist.

A mistrial was declared in the case Monday when the jury couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict after a five-week trial.

Haley says she hopes a new trial will bring a verdict that will mean closure for the Scott family and for the state of South Carolina.

Jimmy Kimmel in Los Angeles, Sept. 14, 2016. Rich Fury/Invision/AP Photo

(ABC News) – Jimmy Kimmel will host the Academy Awards next year, he tweeted Monday.

This will be the first time the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host has taken the helm at the Oscars.

“Yes, I am hosting the Oscars. This is not a prank. And if it is, my revenge on @TheAcademy will be terrible & sweet. Thx to @alsformalwear,” he tweeted.

The Academy retweeted the message.

Kimmel, 49, most recently was emcee at the Emmy Awards in September, his second time hosting that show. Chris Rock served as emcee of the 2016 Oscars in February.

The 89th Academy Awards will take place Sunday, Feb. 26, in Hollywood and will air live on ABC. Nominations will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 2

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– It’s time for the holidays and the City of Columbia is asking for your help, to help those in need.

According to City officials, the food drive is held each year to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of community service. Some requested items include canned fruit and vegetables, dry goods and canned meats.

 

The public can drop off donations at the following locations:

 

  • City Hall, 1737 Main Street
  • Columbia Tennis Center, 1635 Whaley Street
  • Charles R. Drew Wellness Center, 2101 Walker Solomon Way
  • Earlewood Park, 1111 Parkside Drive
  • Emily Douglas Park, 2500 Wheat Street
  • Greenview Park, 6700 David Street
  • Hampton Park, 117 Brandon Avenue
  • Heathwood Park, 800 Abelia Road
  • Hyatt Park, 950 Jackson Avenue
  • Katheryn M. Bellfield Booker Washington Heights Cultural Arts Center, 2611 Grant Street
  • Lorick Park, 1600 Lorick Avenue
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, 2300 Greene Street
  • Melrose Park, 1500 Fairvew Road
  • Pinehurst Park, 2300 Pinehurst Road
  • St. Anna’s Park, 1315 Liberty Hill Avenue
  • Sims Park, 3500 Duncan Street
  • Woodland Park, 6500 Olde Knight Parkway
  • City Human Resources, 1225 Lady Street
  • Columbia Fire Department Headquarters, 1800 Laurel Street
  • Columbia Police Department Headquarters, 1 Justice Square
  • Public Works, 2910 Colonial Drive

Tampa Bay Rays' Steve Pearce flips his bat after hitting a three-run home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood during the sixth inning of an interleague baseball game Wednesday, May 4, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Rays' Brandon Guyer and Evan Longoria also scored. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Blue Jays signed utility player Steve Pearce to a two-year, $12.5 million contract.

The Blue Jays announced the move Monday. It could spell the end of Edwin Encarnacion’s tenure in Toronto as Pearce primarily plays first base and first baseman Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak are also on the roster.

Pearce hit .288 with 13 home runs in 85 games for Tampa Bay and Baltimore last season. The right-handed hitter can also play second base and left and right field and hit .309 against left-handed pitchers.

Not signing fan favorite Encarnacion will not go over well in Toronto, which led the American League in attendance. Encarnacion hit 42 home runs and led the AL with 127 RBIs along with David Ortiz. The Blue Jays might also let free agent right fielder Jose Bautista sign elsewhere.

Toronto has avoided large long-term contracts since Mark Shapiro became president of the club following the 2015 season.

Pearce, 33, underwent surgery to repair flexor tendons in his right forearm in late September and was expected to be out four to six months.

kevid-dodd-iso.jpegNASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) —Tennessee rookie linebacker Kevin Dodd is being placed on injured reserve and will have his right foot re-evaluated after being scratched the past two games.

Coach Mike Mularkey announced the move Monday after practice.

The 33rd pick overall out of Clemson had not been on the injury report. Mularkey said last week he wanted to see a sense of urgency out of a healthy Dodd.

The rookie had surgery on his right foot in late May that the Titans described as preventative. Mularkey says Dodd had a hard time practicing with the foot, which was affecting his performance. Dodd finishes the season with nine tackles, one sack and four quarterback pressures.

The Titans (6-6) planned to promote linebacker Justin Staples from the practice squad.

pj-dozier-vermont-2016COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) – University of South Carolina sophomore guard PJ Dozier was named the SEC Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.5 steals per game in wins over Vermont and FIU last week. The honor is the first of Dozier’s career.

Dozier posted a career high 21 points, hitting a career high nine shots, in the Carolina victory over Vermont last Thursday, before following with another 20-point outing, scoring 20, in the win over FIU. Dozier hit 57.1 percent on the week, also averaging 6.5 rebounds, after pulling down six vs. Vermont and a team high seven vs. FIU. He also matched a career high with three 3s in the win over Vermont, and added two vs. FIU.

The Gamecocks take a break from game action due to final exams this week before traveling back to New York City to face Seton Hall in the Under Armour Reunion doubleheader at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 12. Tip time vs. the Pirates is set for 9 p.m. ET, with the matchup broadcast on FS1.

Deshaun WatsonClemson, S.C. (CAC)—Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson has been named the winner of the 2016 Chic Harley Award by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio.  The award has been presented each year since 1955 to the National Player of the Year through the conference championship weekend.

Watson won the Archie Griffin Award last year from the same organization.  It is presented to the top college player through the bowl season.  Watson will receive the award at the Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards banquet on Feb. 4, 2017.

The native of Gainesville, Georgia who is a junior in eligibility, but will receive his undergraduate degree on December 15, led Clemson to the ACC Championship last Saturday in a 42-35 victory over Virginia Tech.   It was the second consecutive year Clemson has won the ACC title, the first time the program has done that in 28 years.   He is the first Clemson quarterback to lead the Tigers to back to back conference crowns since Rodney Williams led Clemson to three straight league crowns from 1986-88.

Watson was 23-34 for 288 yards and three touchdowns passing and added a team best 85 yards rushing 0n 17 carries and scored twice against Virginia Tech.  He was named the Most Valuable Player of the ACC Championship game for the second consecutive year.

The Tigers rank second in the final College Football Playoff Poll and will face Ohio State in the  PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on December 31.   It is the second consecutive year Clemson has made the College Football Playoff.

For the season, Watson has completed 329 of 487 passes for 3914 yards and 37 touchdowns.    He ranks fourth in the nation in completions, fifth in touchdown passes and eighth in completion percentage and eighth in total offense.  His 37 touchdown passes are a Clemson season record.

Watson has finished strong, connecting on 138 of 186 passes for 1586 yards and 15 touchdowns over the last five games.  That is a 74 percent completion percentage.  He has had 20 touchdowns rushing and passing over the five games and averaged 356.8 total offense yards per game.

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