YEAR IN REVIEW 2022: Some of the most-watched stories of 2022 on Atlanta News First

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Published: Dec. 31, 2022 at 9:51 AM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - 2022 was a big year for metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia. Many local stories made national headlines.

Politically, the state has become a national player.

Access to medical care was another controversial, high-profile story in 2022.

And in sports, the Georgia Bulldogs have proven they are top dogs in the state.

The year started with a parade for the University of Georgia after the Bulldogs captured their first national championship in more than 40 years. Now, the Dawgs are two wins away from another celebration.

RELATED: Georgia celebrates title at stadium, Smart plans repeat

For many though, the year will be remembered for what happened on the political scene in Georgia.

Former Georgia Bulldog Herschel Walker lost in a runoff election to Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock.

RELATED: Democratic Sen. Warnock wins Georgia runoff against Walker

Other than Warnock’s win, the state went red in the major state races. Brad Raffensperger was re-elected as Secretary of State and Chris Carr remains the Attorney General.

Burt Jones won the race for Lieutenant Governor and Brian Kemp held off Democrat Stacey Abrams to remain governor of the state.

YEAR IN REVIEW 2022: Most-read stories on for 2022

The shooting of 31-year-old Lakevia Jackson, who was shot and killed over an argument about a bowling ball at a southwest Atlanta bowling alley, grabbed national headlines. Jackson was the mother of an Atlanta rapper Young Thug, who is among multiple people facing RICO charges as part of a sweeping gang indictment filed by Fulton County District Attorney Fanni Willis.

RELATED: Man arrested, accused of killing woman over bowling ball, police say

RELATED: Atlanta native Young Thug denied bond on gang-related charges

That’s not all that Willis has been up to.

She also called a special grand jury to investigate whether then-President Donald Trump and allies illegally tried to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. In the coming months, the grand jury is expected to produce a final report with recommendations on potential further action.

RELATED: Georgia special grand jury wraps up probe of Trump, allies

Among the biggest social issues the state faced this year was the debate around abortion.

Hundreds of people gathered for rallies on the streets of Atlanta, protesting after Roe v Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court.

RELATED: Georgia AG files court notice requesting Heartbeat Law to go into effect

Weeks later, Georgia’s abortion ban went into effect, prohibiting abortions at roughly 6 weeks or when a detectable heartbeat is present.

Another story with widespread medical impacts -- the closing of the Atlanta Medica Center on Nov. 1, which left Atlanta with one level one trauma center. Local officials now say they are trying to lure another hospital system to metro Atlanta.

RELATED: Atlanta Medical Center closing in downtown Atlanta | What does it mean?

And one of our favorite feel-good stories of the year was about a wishing tree in Dunwoody. It’s a tree where visitors can write down some of their deepest desires and attach it to a tree.