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Where to go from here? A peek at 2015 in Forsyth County

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By: Joshua Sutton

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FORSYTH COUNTY — The beginning of a new year usually finds us looking back on the previous 12 months.

While no one, not even the news media, has a crystal ball with which to foresee the future, that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate on what may happen in 2015.

Last year got off to a frozen, if not somewhat chaotic start, with crippling winter storms in late January and mid-February.

While criticism of the state’s handling of the two events lingers, it’s likely that Georgia will be better prepared should a Snowpocalypse 2015 occur.

And should winter weather force the Forsyth County system to close school for more than the calendar’s two built-in snow days, students will have the chance to complete assignments at home online through the district’s new virtual learning system.

The November announcement caused some uproar about the viability and accessibility of the system.

However, school officials have assured the public that those without the Internet at home will be provided with devices and hotspots. There also will be flexibility with assignment deadlines to allow each student and teacher the time they need.

Whether it’s the snow, schools or something entirely different, we can be sure some “wow” moments will transpire in 2015.

Sometimes they’ll happen within the school system, like when a 21-year-old teaching intern reportedly stole a student’s iPad and sold it online for some extra Christmas cash.

Did we mention the student was 6?

Or when a 19-year-old high school student was arrested for creating a fake Twitter account to leak a potential — and, fortunately, fake — school shooting.

There’s always the chance critters will creep in the headlines, like when an angry customer left two dead beavers outside a business with which he had a dispute.

No matter who the suspect of the day is, 2015 will see the chance for them all to be housed in a brand new jail in downtown Cumming.

The new Forsyth County Jail is scheduled to open April 9, joining the new courthouse next door, which is set to open March 16.

And for those classic car chases, anyone thinking about eluding law enforcement may not want to take Ga. 400 once work to widen the corridor between Exits 15 and 12 gets underway sometime in 2015. Traffic is sure to get worse before it gets better.

Forsyth voters approved a $200 million transportation bond referendum, whose main project is the widening of Ga. 400.

Drivers on the county’s south end may be traveling through an area that becomes Forsyth’s second city.

Although we may not know the final decision before 2015 comes to a close, we should see the results of a feasibility study on the potential formation of Sharon Springs in March.

If the study comes back favorable, Forsyth’s seven state legislators will have to decide if the option is best for county residents. Three of them led well-attended town hall meetings throughout the fall to gauge public opinion.

Some attendees, including many would-be residents, seemed all for the city. Others, including some county commissioners, were not so keen on the idea.

Regardless of whether we get city No. 2, there is sure to be a spotlight pointed at the county’s lone existing city.

The Cumming City Council is moving forward with a process to impeach one of its own after a document showing insurance coverage amounts of all municipal employees — including the mayor’s longtime girlfriend — was leaked.

A panel has been formed to investigate the legality of Councilman Rupert Sexton’s alleged actions. Meanwhile, the Georgia Attorney General’s office is looking into whether the city’s governing body held an illegal meeting on the matter.

Any type of turnover that may occur on the council as a result would be the first in some 30-odd years.

So who’s to say what will or won’t happen in the next 12 months? Not us. All we can do is report what happens as it unfolds.