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The Daily Memphian | The Early Word
The Early Word: Another world-changing idea from Memphis and a title tradition

Good morning, guys! Today is Tuesday, May 4, and more than 30 hospitality employers will be looking for new staffers at a job fair today, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Renasant Convention Center.

The Redbirds are also scheduled to return today, after a whole season hiatus, in a “Nacho Average Tuesday” home opener against Durham. 

The Memphis City Council will meet in-person, with members expected to take up a resolution on the Byhalia Connection pipeline as well as to vote on Mayor Jim Strickland’s nomination of C.J. Davis as the city’s new police chief

And, yes, May the Fourth be with you.



Archimania ran a yearlong experiment in which it compared energy costs of its own, zero-energy office building (right) to the costs of the connected building it leases out (left). (Courtesy archimania)

Local firm takes on climate change: Fast Company is honoring Memphis’ own archimania with one of its 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards, after the architecture firm bought and renovated two Cooper Street buildings with sustainable and green-energy features. But what’s the “world changing idea?” The firm has begun to try and persuade nearby business owners to make Cooper an 88-building “carbon neutral corridor” in the heart of Midtown. (You may remember that another archimania project recently earned its own worldwide recognition.)

American Jobs blitz: The U.S. Labor Secretary and Douglas Emhoff, husband to Vice President Kamala Harris, will be in town later this week. The (first) Second Gentleman will join Marty Walsh in Memphis Thursday as part of a nationwide blitz to promote President Joe Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” proposal.


Part of the University of Memphis’ routine during the 2021 D1A Hip Hop National Championships. (Courtesy Memphis Pom Squad)

A title tradition: When Memphis Pom headed to Nationals this year, they hadn’t won a full team title in eight seasons. And, the group of athletes, many of whom came to the University of Memphis from other parts of the state and other parts of the country specifically because of Pom, knew they had a legacy to uphold. As Geoff Calkins wrote of the squad’s drought, it’s “like Duke or Kentucky, not winning a basketball title. That’s like Alabama, not winning a football championship.” But, after a year when everything was a little off-beat, the University of Memphis Pom squad is back in step.

Businesses and the Byhalia: As the Memphis City Council looks to pause the Byhalia Connection pipeline in its tracks, two pieces today take on the underlying issues. That’s literal for Memphis’ brew masters, all of whom have a deep appreciation for the area’s water quality. From Beale Street Brewing Company all the way to Wiseacre Brewing Company (alphabetically), the area’s signature beer brewers write of the water: “Our businesses are built on it, benefit from it, deliver it across the country and quite frankly couldn’t live without it.” But other business interests are also invested in the outcome; as a vice president for the Consumer Energy Alliance writes, “The proposal would force companies to jump through duplicative, expensive regulatory hoops including environmental studies of water impacts, ‘potential adverse impacts,’ remediation costs and more.” 




Lawrence Matthews (Courtesy Amber Ahmad)

Memphis musician Lawrence Matthews doesn’t know if he’d consider himself a hip-hop artist at this point; no, he says he’s enjoying being unattached to any one genre. Performing under the name Don Lifted, the Memphis native blends hip-hop with R&B, indie rock and electronic music, earning him “favorable comparisons to artists such as Frank Ocean and SZA.” Matthews has also become a notable presence in the local art scene but recently released “Lost in Orion,” described as a somber yet catchy single.




Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) finds himself triple-teamed by Knicks Elfrid Payton (6), RJ Barrett (9) and center Taj Gibson (67) on May 3 at FedExForum. (Brandon Dill/AP)

Grizz growl, grumble: Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins and star point guard Ja Morant were both ejected within the same 30 seconds during last night’s loss against the New York Knicks. With four losses in the past five games, and with the playoffs looming, the team seems to be frustrated — and in a funk. And given where they are in the schedule, they could finish the regular season with a guaranteed spot in the playoffs but a more likely scenario seems to be getting a chance to win a play-in game

Missing letters come to light: Documents missing in a 2005 murder trial and sentencing have resurfaced, after apparently being sent to a former elementary school administrator in prison. Vern Braswell was convicted of second-degree murder for killing his wife, though he claims her death was accidental. His family hopes that the original documents will help him get a new trial or be released.


Michelle Lucas and Steve Lockwood rehabbed this abandoned home in Frayser in 2018 with the help of Lifeline of Success, a youth group from Grace-St. Luke's, and general contractor Nathan Anderson. (Dailly Memphian file)

The ROI of fighting blight: A longtime leader in community development has an idea for Memphis: A wise investment into run-down property. Previous Frayser Community Development Corp. executive director Steve Lockwood recently discussed how his former organization spent $1 million on the area’s most blighted houses and then turned them into the best — and how Frayser saw a six-fold return on the investment. That change, while helping the community and the people who live there, also increased tax revenue for the city. 



Memphis-based David Quarles IV will be designing a space for Apartment Therapy’s Small/Cool Experience 2021 in June alongside Bobby Berk and Ayesha Curry.


But, if you want to take a peek at his own vintage ranch home, you can do that now. 

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow for the Revenge of the Fifth!