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You Heard It Here: Fathers speech puts Judge Deal late to trial
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Legislature 2015: Budget

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Here are a few things we heard this week that we thought you might find interesting.

Hall Superior Court Judge Jason Deal may be the boss of his courtroom, but he couldn’t overrule a trip to the Georgia Capitol on Wednesday.

“My parents won’t let me miss the State of the State address,” he said Tuesday as he talked with lawyers about scheduling during a weeklong trial.

Deal was referring to his parents, Gov. Nathan Deal and first lady Sandra Deal.

He scheduled the trial to resume at 1 p.m. Wednesday following the 11 a.m. address in Atlanta, but he didn’t walk into the courtroom until about 1:20 p.m. He apologized for being late.

“It’s a tough job being a governor’s son,” defense lawyer Troy Millikan said.

Deal the speechwriter

It’s common knowledge that many politicians have speech writers. But apparently, Gov. Deal likes to pen his own words.

Rep. Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, said Deal’s State of the State speech this week was the best one he’s heard from the two-term governor.

“I think he did a good job,” Rogers said. “I could tell he wrote a lot of that.”

The Times inquired with Deal’s office for comment on just how much of the speech the governor wrote himself.

“He always writes his State of the State remarks (and all other major addresses),” Deal spokeswoman Jen Talaber told us. “Our speechwriter helped fine-tune it, but he wrote the entirety of it on a legal pad at home in Habersham (County) last weekend.”

‘Live, learn, work, play’

Living, working and playing isn’t enough for Gainesville. The school board of the city school system wants to add “learn” to Gainesville’s slogan.

Superintendent Wanda Creel suggested a possibility of changing the city’s slogan from “Live, Work, Play” to “Live, Learn, Work, Play” at a joint meeting Monday of the school board and City Council.

City leaders were open to the idea, and City Manager Bryan Lackey said the city is in the process of updating the slogan and marketing anyway.

“I think that’s a great philosophy to work that in there,” he said.

Councilwoman Ruth Bruner said the emphasis on learning mirrors the work of the late Gus Whalen, who started the Featherbone Communiversity in Gainesville and advocated for lifelong learning.

“Well, and you couple that with Lanier Tech making a potential expansion to Gainesville,” said Mayor Danny Dunagan. “I think it’s a great idea.”

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