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The Daily Memphian | The Early Word
The Early Word: Germantown High could be a hospital, and Opera Memphis might get Edge-y

Hello, early birds. Today is Wednesday, July 6, and the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Design Review Board meets today. They’ll be talking about Soul & Spirits Brewery’s exterior renovation, among other things.

Also today, the Shelby County Commission will hold a special meeting to discuss one-time bonuses for county employees, a new minority business contracting program and extra staff to deal with the license plate backlog (more on that below). Plus, the Tennessee Department of Education released district-level data for the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) early this morning (look for an update from The Daily Memphian on that later today).

And here’s some fun news: The NBA Salt Lake City Summer League games have begun, and the Memphis Grizzlies play the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight.


Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has expressed an interest in the Germantown High School campus, currently run by Memphis-Shelby County Schools. (The Daily Memphian file)

From high school to hospital? Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare may be interested in purchasing the Germantown High School campus to expand its operation. Although a Methodist spokesperson wouldn’t directly address the question when asked, Rep. Mark White acknowledged discussions between the hospital and Memphis-Shelby County Schools. Earlier this year, the General Assembly approved legislation, sponsored by White, that clarified the question of who can run the 3G schools — Germantown elementary, middle and high schools — and could force MSCS to sell their property to Germantown Municipal School District. 

Marie Varsos (left) and her mother Debbie Sisco (right) were killed last year in Lebanon, Tennessee, by Marie’s husband. (Courtesy Alex Youn)

Abusers are not all the same: In part three of a series on domestic violence, The Daily Memphian’s Don Wade looks at what drives domestic violence offenders from all walks of life to victimize their partners and how historical attitudes toward women help some men justify their abusive behavior. Wade also looks into treatment options for offenders and whether our system for dealing with domestic violence is broken.

Shelby County commissioners were assured last week by Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert that the license plate backlog was being resolved. The commission will vote today on funding for additional staff for the clerk’s office. (The Daily Memphian file)

Late plate update: On Tuesday, a group of local car dealers called for the state to take over the distribution of new license plates from the Shelby County Clerk’s office. A poll of dealers showed their backlog of tags at more than 7,400. Motorists renewing their tags this year have complained of delays, but a backlog of more than 8,000 tags and license plates were set to be mailed last week (If you’re a cop, maybe skip this next line: But I am among the masses driving on expired tags while I await my new plate). In a special meeting today, the Shelby County Commission will vote on around $350,000 in funding to add seven full-time positions to the Shelby County Clerk’s office. 



HitKidd (@Mangomaat/Courtsy HitKidd)

Local music producer HitKidd and rapper Glorilla are climbing the Billboard charts with their song of the summer, “F.N.F.” Born Anthony Holmes, Hitkidd is a 27-year-old South Memphis native who has worked with the likes of national artists like Megan Thee Stallion to local rappers Duke Deuce and Blocboy JB. “I’m going to be one of the biggest creators to come out of Memphis,” said Holmes. “Then moving on to be one of the biggest creatives in the world.”



Opera Memphis singer Dane Suarez performed for a small crowd in Collierville in December 2020. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian file)

Opera Memphis on the Edge: Opera Memphis is looking into four properties for its new headquarters after selling its former home — the Clark Opera Memphis Center — to Memphis Obstetrics and Gynecological Association. Three of those properties are located in the Edge District, an area that Opera Memphis director Ned Canty said “was deeply appealing from the beginning” both because of the surrounding amenities and because of the Edge District’s connection to Memphis music history.

The former Office Depot site at 785 Union Ave. in the Medical District could be converted into apartments. (Neil Strebig/The Daily Memphian)

Apartment depot: The former Office Depot at 785 Union Ave. could be converted into a five-story, multifamily building with a seven-story parking garage. A Texas-based developer submitted a variance request to the Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development for the proposed development. The Daily Memphian’s Neil Strebig has more on this story in his Inked column, plus an update on the opening of the world’s first Caption by Hyatt (which happens to be right here in Memphis).

Memphis Grizzlies forward Jake LaRavia shoots a 3-pointer against the Philadelphia 76ers on July 5. (Jeff Swinger/AP)

Basketball is back (and a Grizz win): The NBA’s Salt Lake City Summer League games have begun, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 103-99, last night in a game that came down to the final seconds. The game gave us a first look at the Grizzlies’ newly drafted rookies, and newbie Jake LaRavia made an impressive start with two 3-pointers in the opening quarter and a total of 13 points and four rebounds. With Jaren Jackson Jr. likely out for the start of the Grizzlies regular season, the Summer League is offering opportunities for the rookies (and a few Grizz veterans) to show how they might step up as a power forward.

Memphis guard Lester Quinones (11) during a first round NCAA college basketball tournament game against Boise State, Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Portland, Oregon. (AP Photo file/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Golden summer: Former Memphis Tigers basketball player Lester Quinones has been one of the leading scorers at the NBA Summer League’s California Classic in Las Vegas. Quinones signed a two-way contract with the Golden State Warriors a couple weeks ago, and The Daily Memphian’s Steven Johnson said his performance at the Summer League could help his chances of potentially making the Warriors’ roster. 



Want to see which Memphis Grizzlies are playing in the Salt Lake City Summer League games? Here’s a handy roster (if the type is too tiny, you can also see it here).

Hope you’re having a great week! And see you on Thursday.