DeKalb County Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander. Credit: Bob Andres (bandres@ajc.com)

The scoop on Tuesday, March 29: 5 things to know this morning

Did DeKalb County Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander’s disclosure to a reporter torpedo his bid to lead Chicago’s police department? It’s one of many reasons that reportedly influenced Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s last-minute decision to bypass Alexander, one of three finalists for the job, in favor of an insider supported by the City Council’s Black and Hispanic caucuses. Alexander told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, on Thursday, Emanuel offered him the position of Chicago police superintendent. A formal announcement was planned for this Wednesday, said Alexander, who was widely reported to be the front-runner. Read more. 

2. Martin Luther King Drive struggles to live up to its name. 

It’s named for the Atlanta-born face of equality and dignity, but the seven-mile Martin Luther King Jr. Drive does little to honor him or the city. Anchored by churches, businesses, colleges and homes, MLK Drive offers a glimpse back 70 years and to the beginnings of the civil rights movement. But among the historic sites are empty buildings and vacant lots; eyesores have become the background scenery amidst businesses hoping to thrive, and some fear crime won’t fade away just because the street looks better. Mayor Kasim Reed first proposed revamping MLK Drive in 2013, and late last week, the City Council approved the first phase of a $6.4 million project for a district desperate for revitalization. Read more. 

3. Calls emerge to override Georgia governor's 'religious liberty' veto. 

Minutes after Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday announced his veto of a”religious liberty” bill, some state lawmakers began calling for colleagues to overturn the governor’s decision. Special session or not, Deal’s veto of House Bill 757 assures one thing: The debate is not over. From a potential special session this year, to lawmakers’ return in January to the 2018 race for governor, the religious liberty fight will have a prominent place in Georgia for years to come. Deal, speaking to reporters from his ceremonial office on the Capitol’s second floor, said he could not in good conscience sign the bill into law. But the measure’s backers said he made the wrong choice. Read more. 

4. Presidential motorcade could tie up Tuesday traffic. 

President Barack Obama will visit downtown Atlanta on Tuesday, likely leading to some traffic tie-ups during the afternoon commute. The president’s schedule had not been posted online as of midmorning Monday. However, many roads are expected to be closed for his motorcade. The Georgia Regional Transit Authority emailed its suburban commuter bus patrons on Monday, warning them to anticipate potential delays in the afternoon. GRTA said it would make every effort to to adhere to regularly scheduled times, and no Xpress stops are currently expected to be impacted. Updates will be provided GRTA's Twitter account. The president's schedule may be updated on the White House blog or its presidential schedule feed. Read more. 

5. Theater review: Scenery steals the show in Serenbe's 'Carousel.' 

At the very first sight of it, the sheerly spectacular setting of Serenbe Playhouse’s “Carousel” could take your breath away. Like all of the company’s “site-specific” shows, it’s performed outdoors amid the verdant environment of Serenbe, a rustic community located in secluded Chattahoochee Hills (some 35 miles south of Atlanta). In previous productions, artistic director Brian Clowdus has capitalized on different open spaces in the area to transport audiences to a Woodstock festival of sorts (for “Hair”), or to give them singing cowboys on real horseback (in “Oklahoma!”). Plays with such titles as “A Walk in the Woods” and “Ten Mile Lake” literally took place in the woods and on a lake, with natural atmosphere to spare. It wouldn’t be altogether surprising if, later this summer, he finds a unique way to work an actual helicopter into pivotal moments of “Miss Saigon.” Read more. 

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