1.On final opening day at Turner Field, Chipper reflects on first.
Chipper Jones was in the dugout at Turner Field again Monday, back in uniform and looking out over the diamond as he had so many times before. Jones was wearing dark sunglasses so I couldn't see his eyes but no doubt they were dancing as he talked about old times at the ballpark. Jones admitted that it hadn't really occurred to him that this was the last opening day at Turner Field. At least he didn't think about it until someone asked him about it when he showed up for his official gig as a special instructor and the unofficial role as the forever fan favorite. Jones noted that the building is barely 20 years old and usually it's 30 or 40 years before they say goodbye to old ballparks while looking forward to a new one. Read more.
2. Georgia's craft brewers applaud proposed rules on sales to consumers.
Georgia's craft brewers and the state's beer wholesalers united Monday in praise of proposed regulations that would ease rules for how breweries operate tours and market their wares. The Georgia Department of Revenue is proposing to again allow brewers to sell tours of their facilities at different prices based on the quality and amount of beer customers receive as "free souvenirs." While it's far from granting brewers their ultimate wish of being able to sell beer directly to consumers, Monday's announcement puts the manufacturers back where they thought they were after legislation passed in 2015. The wholesalers and the craft brewers have been at odds for years as the distributors seek to protect the long-standing "three-tier" system of alcohol production and sales in Georgia. Read more.
3. DeKalb schools pick its own workers while spending $100,000 for search.
DeKalb County Schools officials paid a search firm nearly $100,000 to fill six administrative positions, but the eventual job winners were mostly handpicked and put in position before the search was over, including three from Superintendent Steve Green's previous district. The move has raised the question for one board member about the necessity of spending the money to find people the superintendent had already selected. It was unknown Monday how many applicants applied for the positions — one is still unfilled — or what additional fees the district incurred through advertising, travel or other purposes. Read more.
4. Atlanta move fuels rift at PulteGroup.
The CEO of PulteGroup is being pushed out the door by the homebuilder's founder, who among other things is unhappy about the company's move to Atlanta from Detroit two years ago. PulteGroup on Monday announced that CEO Richard Dugas, 50, will retire in May 2017 as part of an accelerated succession plan. A board of directors committee will start a search for his replacement. Dugas engineered PulteGroup's move to Atlanta and has quickly built a high civic profile here. But the move contributed to a rift between Dugas and the Pulte family. Read more.
5. Atlanta's pollen season gets here sooner, lasts longer.
Extreme pollen counts came early this spring in Atlanta — one expert calls them "gargantuan, off-the-charts count levels" — causing an earlier, longer and more miserable allergy season. Metro Atlanta's only official pollen counting station, in Marietta, recorded 11 days of extremely high pollen counts in March. Last year, there was only one. Compared to 2015, this year's high counts came about two weeks early. Hardwood pollens are the ones that get you in the spring. (Pine pollen, the yellow-green dust that looks like some kind of radioactive fallout, messes up your car but doesn't really trouble your sinuses. But other tree pollens are assaulting you right now; grass pollens start up in summer; weed pollens in the fall.) Read more.
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Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com