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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.


An obscure yet powerful federal panel will determine the fate of NFTA Chairman Raymond F. Gallagher and two other authority officials following a judge's recommendation Friday that they be removed from office for coercing agency employees into political activities for Gov. Cuomo and the Erie County Democratic Party.The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, probably wil…

The Erie County Legislature may be satisfied with an agreement by the NFTA to an outside management audit, rather than actual completion of the audit, to pave the way for establishment of a transit tax later this year, County Comptroller Alfreda W. Slominski said today.Speaking before a joint meeting of her county-chartered panel and commissioners of the Niagara Front…

Bumps and an uneven roadway are plaguing Peace Bridge motorists in the wake of reconstruction work on the span, and now the Peace Bridge Authority faces a rough road in its attempts to smooth out the situation.The authority learned Friday that vibrations of the thousands of heavy trucks crossing the bridge when concrete was poured caused uneven hardening and an extrem…

The proposal for a truck inspection center on the Buffalo waterfront -- designed to ease traffic jams on the Peace Bridge -- seems to be losing momentum, NFTA commissioners were told Wednesday during an update on waterfront development plans.Alfred H. Savage, executive director of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, told board members that new ideas for the…

The proposal for a truck inspection center on the Buffalo waterfront -- designed to ease traffic jams on the Peace Bridge -- seems to be losing steam, NFTA commissioners were told today during an update on waterfront development plans.Alfred H. Savage, executive director of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, told board members that new ideas for the Port o…

A feasibility study of a tunnel from downtown Buffalo to the Outer Harbor area would help develop a local consensus needed to secure state and federal funds available for some type of Buffalo River crossing, Rep. Henry J. Nowak said Wednesday.The Buffalo Democrat said that about $169 million per year through 1991 has been appropriated for bridge work in New York State…

The outlook for minority hiring goals in the Buffalo Police and Fire departments remains in limbo as a result of a federal judge's order seeking validation of the city's testing procedures before he considers lifting race and sex quotas.U.S. District Judge John T. Curtin said Monday that he cannot consider eliminating court-imposed hiring quotas without determining wh…

Those summertime lines at Niagara River bridges should be substantially reduced this year as a result of plans for more inspectors of vehicles entering the United States.Officials of both the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Customs Service have announced plans to double their normal summer hiring totals, a move they think will help speed up inspections …

Six Chinese aliens were arrested by immigration agents at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge Wednesday, and a New Jersey "arranger" was arrested at LaGuardia Airport in New York as part of an ongoing undercover investigation of illegal alien smuggling.Dennis A. Peruzzini, assistant district director for investigations for the Buffalo office of the Immigration and Naturaliz…

The scheduled return of Carlos Fajardo and his family to the United States today after five months of exile in Canada stems from recognition by U.S. officials that he would be persecuted if deported to Cuba, according to his Buffalo lawyer.Sister Kathleen A. Rimar, Fajardo's Catholic Charities attorney, said immigration officials performed an about-face on their refus…

For the first time in almost five months, Carlos Fajardo stood legally on U.S. soil, looked beyond the Peace Bridge and mustered some of the little English he knows."Bye, bye, Canada," he said with a wave toward his home since Dec. 23.Amid shouts of joy, big smiles and happy hugs, Fajardo, his wife and her two children returned to the United States today under a grant…

For the first time, a young Buffalo man with no knowledge of his true identity may soon determine who he is and from where he comes.And for the first time in 21 years, two Floridians have hope that their 3-year-old son, thought drowned in 1968, has at long last returned.A meeting last week in Tallahassee between David Bonnabel, a Buffalo interior designer, and Joseph …

Alfred H. Savage is "very seriously" under consideration to become the new general manager of the San Francisco-Oakland transit system, according to officials of Bay Area Rapid Transit, who expect to make a decision sometime next week."He's very good," Nello Bianco, a 20-year veteran of the BART board and chairman of its selection committee, said of Savage, NFTA execu…

NFTA Executive Director Alfred H. Savage said Thursday he is a prime candidate for taking the helm of San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit system and that he will seriously weigh an offer if the price is right."It's just down to money," said a source within the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. "They like him. And if they like him enough, they'll pay him th…