In case you missed it: Spring break

Allegheny County Council banned the use of electronic vaporizers in indoor places this past Tuesday.


March 4

Pitches & Tones, a co-ed a cappella group at Pitt, placed second out of nine groups at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella Central Quarterfinal at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall Saturday. The Carnegie Mellon Treblemakers placed first in the competition. Pitches & Tones will join Pittch Please, the only all-male a cappella group on campus, at the Central Semifinal competition March 25, at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts. Pittch Please placed second out of eight groups on Feb. 18 at the ICCA Central Quarterfinal at Ithaca High School in Ithaca, New York.


Dr. Thomas E. Starzl, known as the “father of transplantation” for his work in advancing the field of organ transplantation while at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, died March 4, at 90 years old at his home in Schenley Farms. Starzl joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as a professor of surgery in 1981 and retired in 1991. His memorial service took place March 11, at Heinz Memorial Chapel.


March 5

The Allegheny County Democrats endorsed incumbent Mayor Bill Peduto in the upcoming primary election, which will be May 16. He beat out the only other eligible Democratic candidate at the time, Darlene Harris. Rev. John C. Welch is also running in the mayoral election, but declined to pay the $10,000 fee to be considered for endorsement.


March 7

Allegheny County Council banned the use of electronic vaporizers in indoor places in an eight-to-five vote, classifying the devices as tobacco products, which are prohibited in most public buildings.


Pittsburgh Councilwoman Darlene Harris officially joined the mayoral race along with Rev. John C. Welch and incumbent Mayor Bill Peduto. She filed for petition to join the race on the day of the deadline, Tuesday, and secured about 500 signatures — 250 more than the minimum.


March 8

Pitt School of Law Dean William M. Carter Jr. declared he will no longer participate on KDKA-TV programming after Pitt law professor Haider Ala Hamoudi accused the station of racism, claiming that a producer neglected to have him on a program due to religious bias. KDKA reached out to Pitt’s School of Law requesting professors to discuss President Donald Trump’s immigration ban in February, but after Ala Hamoudi volunteered, they declined to have him on the program. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Ala Hamoudi claimed a KDKA producer wrote in an email, “I cannot have a Middle Eastern man on this panel.” The Post-Gazette also reported on March 8 that “KDKA’s news director, Anne Linaberger, said Tuesday that Mr. Hamoudi was not chosen for the program because the station was seeking experts in immigration law, which is not his area of expertise.”


March 9

Mayor Peduto announced detailed options Thursday for the rollout of the proposed “bus rapid transit” system

Rich Fitzgerald, County Executive of Allegheny County, and the Port Authority detailed multiple options for a new “bus rapid transit” or BRT system — an electric bus service that would feature its own dedicated lane to connect Downtown and Oakland. According to a document released by the Port Authority, options include using Fifth Avenue for the lane, or lanes on both Fifth and Forbes avenues. Neither the county nor the Port Authority has not announced an exact rollout date for the BRT system.

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