The 901: Shelby County Election Commission withdraws lawsuit after vote for new voting machines

·3 min read
Shelby County Commissioner Mark Billingsley practices voting on a ballot marking device Monday, June 6, 2022.
Shelby County Commissioner Mark Billingsley practices voting on a ballot marking device Monday, June 6, 2022.

Good morning, Memphis, where tonight the Grizzlies have two late first-round picks in the NBA Draft and people are already speculating who the team might target.. 

But, first, the Shelby County Election Commission withdrew its lawsuit against Shelby County Government after the Board of Commissioners voted to fund new voting machines for the November election, our Katherine Burgess reports.

“Effective yesterday, we mutually agreed to withdraw the lawsuit, and we all look forward to executing the November election with new voting machines,” said Linda Phillips, administrator of elections.

The end of the lawsuit and the upcoming purchase of new voting machines for the county ends a years-long standoff between the majority-Democrat County Commission and the majority-Republican Election Commission — each preferring different ballot methods.

MSCS board to consider spending $5.5 million on safety and security upgrades

Scene from Walker Avenue and College Street near Cummings Elementary where Memphis police responded to a shooting that left one injured on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021.
Scene from Walker Avenue and College Street near Cummings Elementary where Memphis police responded to a shooting that left one injured on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021.

Memphis-Shelby County Schools administrators want to spend $5.5 million on safety and security upgrades — calling the upgrades imperative for keeping students and school staff safe amid a rise in gun violence, Chalkbeat's Samantha West reports.

The proposal calls for spending just over $2.5 million to replace outdated alarm and card access systems at several schools to ensure all doors are locked at all times. It also includes about $2.9 million for new security cameras inside and outside schools, backup power supplies, servers, and intercom systems at school entrances to monitor visitors before allowing them inside the building.

“Some of our buildings are old, and the equipment is old, too,” Carolyn Jackson, the district’s chief of safety and security, told Chalkbeat. “We’re reimagining what safety and security looks like going into next school year.”

Will ‘Elvis’ movie boost Memphis tourism?

Riley Keough, from left, Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley Austin Butler, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson greet the press during a red carpet event before the screening for the new biopic movie 'Elvis' at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn. on Saturday, June 11, 2022.
Riley Keough, from left, Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley Austin Butler, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson greet the press during a red carpet event before the screening for the new biopic movie 'Elvis' at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn. on Saturday, June 11, 2022.

Memphis Tourism is hoping the new "Elvis" movie directed by Baz Luhrmann can build on the recent momentum brought on after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and work to increase international travel to the city, our Omer Yusuf reports.

"We are so excited about this 'Elvis' movie, we think it will be a billboard for people to want to come to Memphis and to experience Graceland for themselves," Memphis Tourism CEO Kevin Kane said.

Memphis Tourism's marketing even created a new slogan based off the movie — "See the Film, Live the Legacy" — developed by Memphis Tourism to connect the dots between the movie's Australia-built recreations of Beale Street, Graceland and other destinations to their local inspirations.

Memphis Zoo trades Ja Raffe to Utah

Ja Raffe, the young reticulated giraffe named after Memphis' cult hero point guard, Ja Morant, is on his way to a Utah zoo, our Micaaela Watts reports. 

The move was likely unavoidable because of Ja Raffe's inherent male instinct to fight with the herd for the favor of other female giraffes, according to the Memphis Zoo.

The decision to relocate him was prompted by guidance from the Species Survival Plan for giraffes, a program managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Can the Grizzlies ace the NBA draft again

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, center, battles for position against Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke (15) and guard Desmond Bane, right, in overtime of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, center, battles for position against Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke (15) and guard Desmond Bane, right, in overtime of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Tonight’s NBA draft might be the easiest way for the Memphis Grizzlies to get where they want to go, our Mark Giannotto writes in his latest column. They aced this test before and maybe they just do it again, he said.

Here’s an excerpt:

It’s going to be harder now. 

Now that Golden State let the entire league know, through its post-championship obsession with calling out Memphis, that these Grizzlies are viewed as a serious contender moving forward. 

Now that Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman is the youngest person to be named the NBA’s executive of the year.

Now that he has been the team’s top decision maker long enough to develop some patterns and tendencies, perhaps none more successful or pronounced than his annual trades to move up in the NBA draft. 

Now that the Grizzlies hit on so many draft picks in a row, they might just be due to not get one right. 

While there is a wide group of prospects that could be in play, Memphis has three picks. It wouldn't be a major surprise to see the team add guards, forwards or centers, our Damichael Cole reports.

He compiled a list of some players who the Grizzlies should target tonight.

The 901 is written by Ray Padilla, digital producer for The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached at raymond.padilla@commercialappeal.com or on Twitter at @Ray_Padilla_.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: The 901: Shelby County Election Commission withdraws lawsuit, new voting machines