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The top stories of 2023: Looking ahead to what will be making news in the new year

Chris Graham
2023 earth
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The calendar has flipped to 2023. OK, technically, I don’t yet have a 2023 calendar to flip to. The New Year kinda snuck up on me.

Figuratively, then, for me, anyway, the calendar has flipped.

The unseasonably nice weather start to the year is the backdrop for me to think through the topics that I think will be making news in 2023.

The economy

The experts keep telling us that a recession is just around the corner, but they’ve been telling us that since 2020.

I’m beginning to think that maybe they just don’t know, but that may just be me.


Will we see a continuation of the Great Resignation? Now that that toothpaste is out of the tube, it will be hard to get people to just throw their arms up and say, nah, we’ll just keep working jobs that don’t pay us what we think we’re worth, and treat us like chattel.

Affordable housing

Will housing prices come back to some sense of reality? There are some indications that home sales prices are trending down, which would be welcome news for the millions on the economic margins struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

The environment

We’ve already lost the battle on this one. Humans have done irreparable damage. Well, irreparable by humans. The planet will eventually self-correct us out of the equation, but that won’t happen in 2023.

Mental health

Society is becoming more and more open to acknowledging the importance of mental health almost every day.

We’ve still got a lot of work to do there.

Virginia midterm elections

Because we do odd-numbered-year state elections, we have an election literally every year in our Commonwealth, and the midterm cycle is the busy one for the General Assembly, with all 140 seats – the 100 in the House of Delegates, the 40 in the Senate – up for grabs.

The 2023 cycle will be wilder than usual because it’s the first one since redistricting, and there will be some fun with newly drawn districts pitting incumbents against each other for party nominations.

At the 30,000-foot level, the focus will be on what will effectively be a referendum on how the Youngkin administration has been doing, with control of the House and Senate the bellwethers there.

Early start to the 2024 presidential race

Donald Trump has already thrown his name out there, though his campaign is that in name only at this stage.

Who else joins the fray on the GOP side? Glenn Younkgin, maybe?

Does Joe Biden follow through with a run for a second term, and does he face an intraparty challenge if he does?

And if he doesn’t, who emerges on the Democratic side as possible frontrunners?


The Baltimore Ravens have clinched a playoff berth, but do they have a chance if Lamar Jackson isn’t healthy?

The Washington Commanders are still in the running for the final playoff spot in the NFC, but uncertainty at QB might keep them on the outside looking in.

College hoops

The ACC already looks interesting. Preseason #1 North Carolina just lost at Pitt, the fifth loss for the Tar Heels this season. Virginia was ranked as high as #2 before a couple of losses. Duke is Duke, with a group of one-and-dones that may or may not gel by March Madness.

Virginia Tech was ranked for one week, has now lost two straight, but Mike Young seems poised to work some magic again.

JMU is the favorite in the Sun Belt, looking for the program’s first NCAA Tournament bid since 2013.

The A-10 got out to a rough start in November and December, but VCU and George Mason should be in the running as conference play heats up.

The women’s game

Virginia Tech, with Waynesboro native Kenny Brooks at the helm, is a Top 10 team. Virginia, with Coach Mox, enters the New Year with just one loss this season.


The Baltimore Orioles made a surprise playoff push in 2022, and head into 2023 with something fans in the Charm City haven’t had in years – expectations.

The Washington Nationals enter Year 3 of a rebuild pretty much still in teardown mode.

College football

Virginia and Virginia Tech enter Year 2 with new coaches who didn’t get off to good starts in Year 1.

At UVA, the rebuild is being done against a backdrop of the unimaginable tragedies of Nov. 13.

JMU won eight games in its first year in FBS. Liberty ushers in the Jamey Chadwell era after losing Hugh Freeze to Auburn.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].