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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert McCarthy joined The Buffalo News in 1982 and has been political reporter since 1992. A native of Schenectady, he graduated from St. Bonaventure University.


The Erie County Legislature's first attempt at formulating a permanent funding source for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority was filed Saturday by Legislator Ralph M. Mohr -- and it requires no new taxes.Mohr, a Lancaster Republican, said his plan hinges on phasing out emergency state funding over five years. That money would be replaced by normal growth in…

The state has no plans to upgrade its offer of two local nominees for the NFTA board of commissioners, despite continuing calls in the Erie County Legislature for more.Susan Kupferman, Gov. Cuomo's assistant secretary for transportation, said this week the county's planned financial commitment to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority justifies no more than two…

In what is becoming a periodic ritual, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority began preparations today for ending its bus and rail operations. The new shutdown date is Jan. 19.The NFTA's commissioners today approved issuing layoff notices and other steps aimed at closing the system when cash reserves are exhausted."I don't believe we can depend upon the legisla…

A rash of accidents near the Father Baker Bridge demolition site over the past several weeks prompted Buffalo school and police officials to request state action on a remedy.Board of Education member Victor Turchiarelli of the West District held a news conference near the Fuhrmann Boulevard-Tifft Street intersection today to call on the state Department of Transportat…

If construction made commuting miserable this year, just wait until 1990.The state Department of Transportation has announced plans to close the outbound Kensington Expressway and the outbound Skyway, beginning in March and continuing through late fall.Add to that the continuing reconstruction of the lower Niagara Thruway between Louisiana Street and Bailey Avenue, an…

At first, it served as a quick solution to housing hundreds of Central American refugees streaming into Buffalo en route to Canada.But now Lackawanna's La Casa is coming of age. Those who administer the former Queen of All Saints Convent say the temporary problems that began three years ago are now permanent. And that means transforming La Casa into a permanent facili…

If you're a history buff, you'll be fascinated to know that December 1989 has a good shot at being the coldest December on record in Buffalo.But if weather trivia isn't your thing, you'll remember this month as just plain cold.Even if temperatures reached normal levels for the rest of the month, this December would still be the second coldest in books that date to 187…

President Bush may have handed an early Christmas present to a Chinese illegal alien held for two months in Niagara County Jail.Li Jin Lin says he has tried twice to enter the United States illegally to escape China's harsh family-planning policies. He now may be able to take advantage of a presidential order directing immigration authorities to consider those policie…

Erie County is committed to developing only a financial plan to assist mass transit by the end of 1989, not to establishing a transit tax, according to Mary Lou Rath, minority leader of the Erie County Legislature.The Williamsville Republican said the resolution the Legislature unanimously passed last spring commits Erie County to developing guidelines on how county m…

When NFTA commissioners meet Monday they will consider borrowing to keep Metro trains and buses rolling, but transit agency staffers continue to label such a move fiscally imprudent.The commissioners met today in preparation for Monday's proposal to terminate all transit operations of the Niagara Frontier Transortation Authority. They resolved to meet with state and c…

The federal government will continue its prosecution of Raymond F. Gallagher and two others on political coercion charges, despite their recent resignations from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.William Cinnamond, a spokesman for the Office of Special Counsel, said Monday that federal prosecutors will press the case of Gallagher, the former chairman; Kenn…

Gov. Cuomo today nominated Robert D. Gioia to serve as the new part-time chairman of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.A veteran of 10 years as an NFTA commissioner, Gioia, whose appointment was expected, will replace Raymond F. Gallagher. Gallagher resigned last month in the wake of long-standing charges that he was involved in politically coercing author…

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority says it will shut down its Metro bus and rail operations Dec. 22 -- the date the financially strapped transit agency runs out of cash.NFTA sources say officials are expected to announce at a press conference Tuesday that they will close the system on that date, since New York State refuses to continue emergency funding wit…

Shooters, the popular restaurant on the Buffalo waterfront, could lose its lease at Seaway Piers if it does not begin work on a $7 million marina by next spring.The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, owner of the 34-acre site off Fuhrmann Boulevard, has notified Shooters owners that they may face "appropriate legal action" unless construction of the 700-slip m…