TSYS merger is complete, plus other big Columbus-area news you need to know

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TSYS, Global Payments merger complete

The merger between Columbus-based TSYS and Atlanta-based Global Payments was completed last week.

The merger, first announced in May, was billed as an “all-stock merger of equals.” The new company will be called Global Payments, and it will maintain dual headquarters in Columbus and Atlanta.

The new Global Payments aims to save $300 million over the next three years by combining business operations, eliminating duplicate corporate and operational structures and executing other changes.

Roughly 4,800 of TSYS’ 13,000 employees are based in Columbus. About 90 to 95% of those Columbus employees are issuer-related — an area of business that was not performed or staffed by the previous Global Payments firm, Woods said.

“There will be some jobs within the combined company that will be eliminated,” said Troy Woods, the former TSYS CEO who now serves as Global Payments’ chairman of the board. “It’s way too early to handicap the details of how many and where they will be.

Want to know more? Read here.

Convicted killer gets new trial because of botched court transcript

A man convicted of fatally shooting his girlfriend in Georgia will get a new trial because an unlicensed court reporter faking her job filed a flawed trial transcript.

Antonio Jerome Magee was convicted in 2008 for the 2005 killing of girlfriend Mary Rodgers, who with Magee and their infant daughter, fled to Columbus, Georgia, from Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina.

Muscogee Superior Court Judge William Rumer ruled Magee was denied due process under the 5th and 14th Amendments because the state of Georgia cannot produce an accurate, certified transcript.

The court reporter in Magee’s initial trial, Sharon Dilleshaw, was allowed to transcribe the trial weeks after her professional certification was suspended. The judge who proceeded over Magee’s initial trial, Judge Robert Johnston III, resigned March 15, 2010, and died March 12, 2011.

Rumer in his new trial order tried to use random sampling to quantify the mistakes, finding an average of 4.6 errors per page, which over 301 pages would total an estimated 1,384.

Magee’s new trial was set for Sept. 23, but it’s now been postponed until late October.

Want to know more about the trial and what comes next? Read here.

Want to be a U.S. Senator?

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp wants those interested in filling a soon-to-be-vacant Senate position to apply for the post online, the Associated Press reports.

“To ensure an open and transparent appointment process, I am encouraging all Georgians who want to serve in the U.S. Senate to submit their name and qualifications,” Kemp said in a statement last week.

Three-term U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson is stepping down at the end of December due to health issues. The appointee will have to defend the seat in a November 2020 election.

Georgia and Auburn win big football games

Both the Georgia Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers won important games Saturday against high-ranking opponents.

No. 3 UGA beat No. 7 Notre Dame 23-17 in front of Sanford Stadium’s largest crowd. The Bulldogs scored 16 of their points in the second half, and 10 points in the fourth quarter.

The No. 8 Auburn Tigers held off the hard-charging No. 17 Texas A&M Aggies, 27-20. The Aggies scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, but they couldn’t cap off the comeback.

Here’s where you can read more on the Bulldogs or Tigers.

Nick Wooten is the Southern Trends and Culture reporter for McClatchy’s South region. He is based in Columbus, Georgia at the Ledger-Enquirer but his work also appears in The (Macon) Telegraph and The Sun Herald in Biloxi.Before joining McClatchy, he worked for The (Shreveport La.) Times covering city government and investigations. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.