The Early Word: TN didn’t help with xAI, and we remember the The Logo

Bianca Phillips By , Daily Memphian
Updated: June 13, 2024 8:56 AM CT | Published: June 13, 2024 6:22 AM CT Premium

Rise and grind, Memphis. It’s Thursday, June 13, and the Land Use Control Board has a full slate of big decisions to make. Among the discussion items: a new Cordova-area high school, the proposed Union Avenue Whataburger and a new gas station to replace the old Poplar/Highland Hop-in that burned down in January.

There’s also a ribbon-cutting today for phase five of the South City redevelopment project at the site of the old Foote Homes. The $19 million phase includes a 120-unit senior apartment building with a fitness center and hair salon.

This may come as no surprise, but the Tennessee state government had nothing to do with Memphis netting the xAI supercomputer deal with Elon Musk. Gov. Bill Lee confirmed on Wednesday, during a visit to Memphis, that xAI was one of the few major companies that didn’t engage with the state Economic and Community Development. (Seriously, Memphis may as well be its own city-state, right?) On that visit, Lee also toured Winchester Elementary School, a “summer-learning academy” for third-grade students trying to boost their grades in accordance with the state’s third-grade retention law.

Three-time NBA Basketball Hall of Famer and former Memphis Grizzlies general manager Jerry West died Wednesday morning at age 86. West worked in the Grizzlies’ front office from 2002 to 2007 and transformed the Grizz into a three-time playoff team. During his time as a player, he was nicknamed “Mr. Clutch” for his late-game exploits, and his silhouette was the inspiration for the NBA logo (hence his other nickname, The Logo). The Daily Memphian’s Geoff Calkins remembers how West gave the new-to-Memphis franchise credibility and “lit the first spark in this city’s NBA love affair.”

Plus, FedEx cuts European jobs, DeAndre Williams works out in Memphis and The Daily Memphian’s Table Talk is back. 


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Bianca Phillips

Bianca Phillips

Bianca Phillips is a Northeast Arkansas native and longtime Memphian with two decades of experience in local journalism and public relations. She’s a diehard morning person who spends her free time training for marathons and ultras. And she’s the author of “Cookin Crunk: Eatin’ Vegan in the Dirty South.”


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