Read in browser
The Daily Memphian | The Early Word
The Early Word: Edey shows off skills, and a top MPD cop shows his way out

Morning, Memphis. It’s Tuesday, July 9, and the remnants of Hurricane Beryl will be barreling just west of us, dumping rain on our dehydrated plants. 

The Memphis City Council could take its first vote today on a ballot question over suburban representation on Memphis Light, Gas and Water’s board. And Memphis-Shelby County Schools is having a public meeting on its plan to keep Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary School open and add middle-school grades. Tonight, the Memphis Grizzlies take on former Memphis Tigers star David Jones and the Philadelphia 76ers in Salt Lake City.


The Daily Memphian first reported on July 2 that Memphis Police Assistant Chief Shawn Jones lives in Georgia and has voted twice in the state this year. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian file)

MPD assistant chief is leaving: Shawn Jones, Memphis Police assistant chief, is leaving the department following reports that he actually lives in Georgia. Jones spent more than 20 years as a member of the Atlanta Police Department, and Memphis Police Interim Chief C.J. Davis said he received relocation assistance pay when MPD hired him. Memphis Mayor Paul Young said the decision to let Jones go was not related to residency. The Memphis Police Department doesn’t have a residency policy anymore, per state law, but the Memphis City Council is set to discuss MPD’s residency rules at its meeting today.

Elon Musk’s xAI will add 80 to 120 new fiber-technician jobs. (Leon Neal/Pool Photo via AP file)

More jobs at xAI: Elon Musk’s planned xAI facility will employ more people than initially projected. When the supercomputer plan was first announced, only about 200 people were expected to be hired. Now, a source says Musk may hire up to 120 more people from the region to help create a fiber network for xAI. So, how does one get a job at this mysterious gigafactory? A career fair may be coming soon. And while it seems Musk might not care if you’ve got a college degree, it could still be harder to get into xAI than Harvard.

Lisa Arnold (left) and Tami Sawyer are running for General Sessions Court clerk. (The Daily Memphian files)

Only countywide race on the ballot: August ballots for Shelby County voters will look different depending on where they live. But each ballot will have at least one thing in common: The race for General Sessions Court Clerk. The contest for the keeper of records and administrator of the state’s largest court system is between Democratic nominee Tami Sawyer and Republican nominee Lisa Arnold. And it’s coming at a time when the county’s court system is under a lot of scrutiny from state lawmakers. In our continuing election series ahead of July 12 early voting, our own Bill Dries looks at the two candidates’ plans and their qualifications for the job. In other election news, Collierville Alderman John Worley has decided not to run again. And we’ve got a look at the races in Arlington.

Alleged ‘watermelon man’ killer captured: Demarion Tackett, the teen charged in the 2023 death of watermelon vendor John Materna, was captured at a Memphis home by U.S. Marshals on Monday. Tackett posted bond about two months after it was decided he’d be tried as an adult. And then he failed to appear in court last month for a motion hearing on a petition to revoke his bond. In other criminal justice news, Memphis Army veteran Karl P. Loucks has been charged with attacking a homeless man with a knife, just over a month after he was charged with fatally shooting another homeless man, Shaun Rhea, in Downtown Memphis.



Christopher B. Davis will be LeMoyne-Owen College’s 14th president. (King Jemison/The Daily Memphian)

LeMoyne-Owen College named Christopher B. Davis its 14th president on Monday. Davis had been serving as interim president since Vernell Bennett-Fairs resigned her lead role last summer. During his time as interim, Davis grew student enrollment and helped rebrand the college as the only historically Black college in Memphis and the fifth-oldest in the country. Before his time at LeMoyne-Owen, Davis spent 17 years at Memphis Theological Seminary as an associate professor and dean, and he’s also a pastor at St. Paul Baptist Church. As for his new role, Davis already has some big plans.



Memphis Grizzlies rookie Zach Edey, left, and Utah’s Walker Kessler battled for position under the boards during a summer league basketball game Monday, July 8, in Salt Lake City. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

Big man, big show: The Memphis Grizzlies’ new center Zach Edey debuted in last night’s NBA Summer League opener against the Utah Jazz, and it didn’t even matter that the team fell, 97-95, in overtime. What mattered was fans got a first look at what Edey can do. He delivered the game’s highlight: a literal last-second point that sent the game into overtime, and he put on quite a show for the whole game. As our own Drew Hill says, “If you are a fan who wants to overreact to a single summer league performance, now is the time to do it.”

“I still love all my people in Memphis,” said former University of Memphis forward David Jones. (Patrick Lantrip/The Daily Memphian file)

David Jones was right: In other NBA Summer League news, former Memphis Tiger David Jones got his chance to prove the naysayers wrong. Plenty of Tigers fans thought Jones was making a risky move by trying to go pro, instead of rejoining his college team where he could make more in name, image and likeness pay. But Jones, who was signed to a two-way deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, had his Summer League debut Monday when the 76ers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 102-92. In other Tigers news, contract details show athletic director Ed Scott will get a large payout if the Tigers are invited to join the ACC, Big 12, SEC or the Big Ten. And if Scott decides to leave Memphis early, he’ll owe the university some big bucks.

Southwest Tennessee Community College computer systems remained down Monday due to an apparent hacking incident. (Courtesy Southwest Tennessee Community College)

Hack job: Classes at Southwest Tennessee Community College were out on Monday as the college dealt with an apparent cybersecurity incident that began on July 3. That’s when the school first noticed a “server problem,” but that problem has grown to include the main campuses, as well as smaller Southwest sites. Thousands of students, faculty and staff don’t know yet when they return to class or work, and one teacher said the issue was even impacting fall student registration



“I mean, he’s 7-foot-forever, and he knows what he’s doing,” said Jason March, Grizzlies NBA Summer League coach, after Edey’s debut Grizz performance Monday night. Just look at this guy’s dunk! His feet barely leave the floor

May your day be as good as Zach Edey is tall, and stay dry, friends.