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The Local Agenda: Scholars Academy registration still open
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The fourth annual Hall County Government Scholars’ Academy is fast approaching, and registration is still open for interested participants.

The academy includes nine sessions between April 14 and June 9, each focusing on a unique aspect of local government. The Scholars’ Academy also includes tours of government facilities.

Participation is free. Registration forms and the syllabus are available online.

For more information, visit, or contact Hall County spokeswoman Katie Crumley at or 770-297-5504.

Gainesville retreat to focus on public utilities

Gainesville City Council will attend an annual retreat Friday and Saturday at Brasstown Resort to discuss issues related to the public utilities department.

Public Utilities Director Kelly Randall said he will make a recommendation for where to set water and sewer rates next year, and will also address the prospect of a stormwater utility fee to pay for infrastructure upgrades.

Read the Sunday edition of The Times for more information.

General Assembly session nears end

The 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly concludes April 2.

Monday marked day 34 of the 40-day session. Both the House and Senate will be in session today.

Both chambers have passed transportation and medical marijuana bills, but conference committees still need to address differences in the two versions of each.

Meanwhile, the House Education Committee signed off Monday on Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposal to allow the state to take control of chronically failing public schools.

Voters would ultimately have to pass the constitutional amendment necessary for Deal’s Oppotunity School District proposal to come to fruition.

Follow The Times all week for updates from the state Capitol.

Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: