Chattahoochee Chatter: TSYS has connection with Ledger-Enquirer

Staff reportsFebruary 20, 2013 

File this one in the category that shows, indeed, it can be a small world after all.

Sitting Tuesday in the headquarters office of Austin, Texas-based NetSpend, TSYS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Phil Tomlinson noted in an telephone interview with the Ledger-Enquirer about his firm's $1.4 billion purchase of the company that the high-rise building he was in had a Columbus connection of sorts, with a history lesson tossed in.

"We're in the capital of Texas, and when I walked in this building there's a plaque on the outside of the front door and it says this was the site of the president's house for the Republic of Texas," Tomlinson said, "and the first guy to live there was your founder, Mirabeau Lamar."

Our founder, as in the native Georgian -- born in Louisville and raised near Milledgeville -- who launched the weekly Columbus Enquirer in 1828, a few years before moving to Texas to become vice president of the Republic of Texas and, ultimately, serve a term as its president.

Lamar, who died in 1859 at the age of 61, became a popular political figure in Texas and also fought in the Mexican-American War. A number of buildings, schools and college structures in the state bear his name.

The Enquirer, of course, eventually was merged with the Columbus Ledger, founded in 1886, to become, alas, the newspaper you are reading today.

"Small world," Tomlinson said Tuesday.

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From one statesman to another: U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr., whose 2nd Congressional District includes Fort Benning, played a key role in securing a 30-day extension for public comments assessing possible cuts at Fort Benning.

The Army announced the Tuesday deadline for comments to the Army's Programmatic Environmental Assessment has been extended to March 21. Chattahoochee Valley residents are given more time to comment on the impacts cutting the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Kelley Hill or keeping the brigade on post.

The Army plans to reduce its force from 562,000 to 490,000 soldiers by deactivating eight brigades. Two units would be cut from Europe and the other six would come from 21 U.S. installations. The 3rd Brigade at Fort Benning is attached to the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Ga. The post is considered on the list with 20 other installations.

An extension for public comments was in response to a letter from Bishop, D-Albany. "It is important all of our local leaders have adequate time to view, assess, and comment on the data provided in the report to ensure the greatest accuracy possible," Bishop wrote.

Bishop said it cannot be understated how important Fort Benning, its soldiers and its support staff are to the community and economy of the greater Columbus region.

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Here comes the judge ...

During a Feb. 14 hearing in Columbus Recorder's Court, a defendant answered Judge Mary Buckner's question this way: "Yes, Miss Buckner."

"It's Judge Buckner in the courtroom," she told the defendant.

He replied, "Yes, Miss Judge Buckner."

Maybe it was the Valentine's Day loving spirit, but the judge didn't hold the defendant in contempt -- nor any of the folks who laughed.

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The Muscogee County School District works hard to provide for all students' needs, but it doesn't hurt to have some help from your friends.

For example, at the latest meeting of the school board this week, it was announced that Waddell Realty is donating $1,150 to purchase Common Core Objective coaching books for Rigdon Road Elementary; Pratt & Whitney is donating $500 for welding rods at Jordan High School; Cascade Hills Church is donating $1,276.28 to student services for education of homeless youth. Both the Women in Technology Foundation and United Technology Corporation are donating money for the robotics team at Columbus High School. Women in Technology Foundation is donating $3,250 and United Technology Corporation is donating $6,000.

The booster club at Carver High School is donating $1,844.62 to support the basketball team and Aflac is donating $1,559 to support the Day of Distinction at Columbus High School.

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