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January 9, 2013

KITCHELL: Looking ahead to 2013

It’s not easy to find out the headlines of things that have yet to happen, yet the annual Early Edition column forecasts, prognosticates and even predicts much of what will come to pass in the coming year.

For more than a decade, that’s been the tradition, and the tradition continued last year when the Early Edition ’12 column correctly forecast a Barack Obama win over Mitt Romney in the presidential race. The same column also predicted improvement for Notre Dame over the previous year, but only 9-3 and not 12-1. Apparently, the crystal ball does not understand the concept of overtime games, and that may account for the discrepancy.

The column also projected a continuation of the “Arab Spring” movement in the Middle East, and it did in fact spread to Syria last year.

The projections of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the pressure on the 1 percent continued, with Congress eventually agreeing to tax the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans more than they have been in the previous decade.

Where the column fell short was on the prediction that John Gregg would win the governor’s race over Mike Pence. It was a close race, but in the end, the GOP swept all statewide races except the race for U.S. Senate and state school superintendent.

So what’s ahead this year? After Windexing the crystal ball and turning on a soft white GE 60-watt lamp, here’s what the ball foresees:

1. State tax cut stalls. Gov. Mike Pence experiences problems with a proposed 10 percent state income tax cut, and the Indiana General Assembly compromises on a smaller cut.

2. Purdue recruits. New Purdue football coach Darrell Hazell signs more Indiana recruits in one year than his predecessor, Danny Hope, did in five.

3. Indiana Final Four. After being away from the Final Four since the Jarred Jeffries era in Bloomington, the Hoosiers will return, but will fall short of winning a national championship.

4. Notre Dame pre-season top 10. Look for the Irish, who may have peaked early in the Brian Kelly era, to be no worse than No. 8 in the preseason poll and play in a BCS bowl again.

5. Butler’s back. The Bulldogs, who took a hiatus last year, will return to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, and whispers that Brad Stevens is the best college basketball coach in Indiana will continue.

6. Richard Lugar will earn more respect and cash in the first year of his retirement from the U.S. Senate than he did during a 36-year career.

7. Romantic comedies will make a comeback on the silver screen.

8. Above normal temperatures will again be normal, and concerns over the lack of rain since last summer’s drought will continue.

9. New concerns will emerge over anti-trust enforcement as American corporations are merged or sold to foreign concerns.

10. GM, Chrysler and Ford post solid gains. The American auto industry will return to its best year for sales since the 1980s.

11. Lindsay Lohan will not be arrested.

12. Logansport’s girls basketball team will win a sectional and advance to the championship of the regional round.

13. Construction completion on the Hoosier Heartland will result in at least two new businesses opening on the route between Lafayette and Logansport.

14. Enrollment at Ivy Tech Community College will continue to increase.

15. Purdue’s online presence as a university will grow.

There’s more, but too much to include in one column. Readers can write down their own predictions for the year and open them up a year from today. Let’s compare notes.

To all readers, a happy and safe 2013.

Dave Kitchell is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at ptnews@pharostribune.com.

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