Category: Regional News

Baldwin Man Charged with Hate Crime – First Since 2009

United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced that a criminal
report has been filed in federal court in Pittsburgh charging Ryan Kyle with a hate crime based on the victim’s race. This is the first federal hate crime filed in Western Pennsylvania since the enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.

The one-count Information named Ryan Kyle, 22, formerly of Baldwin Borough, and presently incarcerated.

According to the Information filed with the court, on or about May 30, 2015, in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Ryan Kyle did willfully cause bodily injury to K.L. because of the actual and perceived race and color of K. L.

Evidence previously introduced in state court established that Kyle, who is white, assaulted Kevin Lockett, a then-53-year-old African-American man, at the Wood Street T Station in downtown Pittsburgh on May 30, 2015. The assault was captured on Port Authority video and occurred following a Kenny Chesney concert at Heinz Field.

U.S. Attorney Hickton stated, “The anticipated plea in this case ensures that Ryan Kyle is held fully accountable for a federal hate crime that carries a significant sentence, highlights the racial motivation for the offense, and demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to prosecuting racially-motivated crimes.”

United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch certified the filing of the charge in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice. By law, federal prosecutors must obtain a written certification by the Attorney General or his designee before a hate crime prosecution may be undertaken.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the filing of charges in this case.

A criminal Information is an accusation.

A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The filing of an Information generally indicates that the defendant intends to enter a guilty plea.

Allegheny River Nominated for PA River of the Year


The Allegheny River has been selected as one of four finalist waterways in Pennsylvania to be voted on by the public in the annual PA River of the Year Contest.

Co-sponsored by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the PA organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), online voting officially began on Monday, November 14th and continues through 5PM on December 19.

The organization who nominated the winning entry in the contest receives a $10,000 DCNR grant to help celebrate the River of the Year designation with a series of public educational and recreational events.

The Allegheny River is more than 315 miles long and with a watershed area of 11,580 square miles, contributes 60 percent of the Ohio River waterflow in Pittsburgh.

Cumulatively, 2,810 volunteers have pulled nearly 88,499 pounds of metal, 1,334 tires, and 386 cubic yards of trash from the Allegheny River since 2009. In addition, many of the same partners have also been organizing a successful cleanup on the Allegheny Reservoir since 2005. Cumulatively, 822 volunteers have donated 6,576 hours to collect 795 tires and 236 cubic yards of trash from the Allegheny Reservoir. The reservoir is another popular tourist attraction for boaters, fishermen, hikers, and campers.

The Allegheny River was nominated for the River of the Year contest by Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council – a non-profit charitable organization headquartered in Warren (Warren County), but serves the residents of eight northwestern PA counties.

Our primary area of interest is in improving quality of life in four areas: Water Management, Agricultural Land Management, Forest Land Management, and Community Development. Penn Soil RC&D has taken a very active role in working with community groups on facilitating community improvement projects associated with the Allegheny River over the last 15 years including engineering design and construction of many public facilities such as the Big Bend Bird Viewing Platform at Kinzua Dam, the Riverside Watchable Wildlife Interpretive Trail, upgrading the boat launch areas on the Allegheny River at Big Bend Recreation Area in Warren County and at Tionesta.

If selected as the 2017 “River of the Year,” Penn Soil RC&D Executive Director Wes Ramsey said the non-profit will develop and coordinate a plan to promote watershed awareness and promote the value of clean water in the community.

“ “A minimum of five major events will be held within the upper and middle Allegheny River Watershed to bring focus to the value of good water quality and the resources and opportunities that the River provides to our region and communities further downstream. Activities will include volunteer stream and lake cleanup efforts within the watershed, powered by volunteers; an educational sojourn that tells the story of the river from a historical perspective, the biological, the economic, the conservation, and the recreational perspectives; family friendly events such as canoe and kayak family float trips and clinics that bring entire families out to experience the river and learn about using the river safely so that they become more connected to understanding water quality and protecting the River in their everyday life,” Ramsey said.

“We encourage all those who are a fan of the Allegheny River for its beauty, its recreational value for those who enjoy paddling, hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, swimming, and for its importance to the citizens of western PA as a source of water for household and business use- to take a moment and vote for the Allegheny River.”

There are no age restrictions or residency requirements to participate and anyone with a valid email address can vote at the website for the Allegheny River or one of the other three finalists which are Brandywine Creek and Perkiomen Creek in southeastern PA and Loyalhanna Creek – a tributary of the Kiskiminetas River.