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Brewed On Grant: Marijuana Control

Written by Rob Rogers on .

A Senate hearing on medical marijuana was held in Harrisburg, raising hopes that Pennsylvania might join other states in legalizing the drug for medical treatment purposes. It is a long shot, but at least it is being discussed. 

020514 Marijuana Control

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Counting down to signing day 2014: Defensive backs

Written by Sam Werner on .

All right, here's the last one before we go live for signing day tomorrow morning. Here are the defensive back recruits that will sign with Pitt tomorrow...

Verbal commitments:
Patrick Amara (6-2, 191 lbs)
West Catholic High School (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Rivals: 3*, NR
Scout: 3*, No. 175 WR
247: 3*, No. 51 S

Avonte Maddox (5-9, 165 lbs)
Martin Luther King High School (Detroit, Mich.)
Rivals: 3*, NR
Scout: 3*, No. 37 CB
247: 3*, No. 76 ATH

Phillipie Motley (5-10, 171 lbs)
Hilliard Davidson High School (Hilliard, Ohio)
Rivals: 3*, NR
Scout: 3*, No. 105 CB
247: 3*, No. 72 CB

Jalen Williams (6-2, 180 lbs)
Newburgh Free Academy (Newburgh, N.Y)
Rivals: 3*, NR
Scout: 3*, No. 114 S
247: 3*, No. 105 S

The biggest news at this position group during this year's recruiting process centered around two guys whose names are not listed above: local products Montae Nicholson and Dravon Henry. Those two guys would have contended for immediate playing time at a position where Pitt will have a couple of open spots next year.
With the guys that are coming in, Maddox and Motley most likely project as cornerbacks and Amara and Williams will enter as safeties. Pitt loses Jason Hendricks at safety and K'Waun Williams as in the secondary, but their starting replacements will likely come from guys already on the roster (my bet would be Terrish Webb and Titus Howard). That said, I do think there's room any of these guys to compete for playing time this season. With the number of spread teams in the ACC, Pitt plays a lot of nickel defense (almost more than their base) and Paul Chryst showed this year that he's not opposed to playing freshmen in the secondary, even ahead of other, more experienced players. It can be tough to tell which guys are going to click right (at this point last year I would've thought there would be no way that Webb and Howard were going to play in 2013), but I wouldn't be surprised to see at least one of these freshmen defensive backs on the field in 2014.

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Local anti-litter crusader gets national award

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

 

boriswBoris Weinstein, Pittsburgh’s leading Mister Anti-Litter Man, was honored by Keep America Beautiful at its national convention in Charlotte this evenning.
 
The Shadyside resident — a member of the Clean Pittsburgh Commission and founder of Citizens Against Litter — was chosen to receive the 2013 Iron Eyes Cody Award for his “exceptional leadership in raising public awareness about litter prevention, roadside and community beautification, solid waste issues, and the need for citizens to participate in activities that preserve and enhance natural resources and public lands,” according to KAB.
 
It has honored 20 men with this award since 1988. The national awards program honors women with the Lady Bird Johnson award among other categories.
 
Mr. Weinstein sent this statement to Walkabout:
 
"I’m overwhelmed that I have been chosen for the Keep America Beautiful Iron Eyes Cody Award. My life in retirement mirrors many of the Keep America Beautiful principals. I work to rid us of litter.”
 
“I work for a cleaner environment. I believe one person can make a difference. People who care must pick up for people who litter and don’t care.”
 
"Citizens Against Litter’s mission is to inspire residents of the Pittsburgh area to collect litter and connect neighborhoods. Keep America Beautiful sees millions of Americans who take small actions that bring about a world of change. I believe I am one of those Americans."
 

 

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Freebeck flips to Vanderbilt

Written by Sam Werner on .

What was originally supposed to be a stress-free signing day (if there is such a thing) for Paul Chryst and company tomorrow took a late twist this afternoon when quarterback Wade Freebeck decided that he will sign with Vanderbilt, not Pitt, tomorrow.

Freebeck had been committed to the Panthers since June, but received a lot of late interest from new Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason had to find a quarterback to replace Trace McSorley flipped from Vanderbilt to Penn State to follow coach James Franklin.

Freebeck was a three-star quarterback on Rivals, and was generally perceived to be a potential multi-year starter (though he likely would've redshirted this year). His defection leaves Pitt with Adam Bertke as the only quarterback set to sign tomorrow.

Ultimately, it's tough to put much of a positive spin on this. Not only does Pitt lose out on a talented player, but it happens so late in the process that it's not like Chryst and his staff can just go out and try to get the next guy on their board. The quarterback depth chart next year will be Chad Voytik, Trey Anderson and Bertke. Voytik looked good in the bowl game, but if he gets hurt, the options are pretty dire.

From a couple of conversations I've had during this offseason, the staff wouldn't necessarily be opposed to adding a fifth-year graduate transfer, but there just aren't really any out there that fit Pitt's profile. The urgency to add another body, or potentially a junior college guy, might increase now that Freebeck's gone. That'll certainly be a topic of discussion at Chryst's press conference tomorrow.

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The Facebook in Pittsburgh 10 years ago: PG covers new online phenomenon

Written by Ethan Magoc on .

The Facebook Ashleigh Kuhn Pitt 2004 Post-Gazette John Heller

Ashleigh Kuhn, then a Pitt student, sits at her computer in fall 2004 with a nine-month-old version of The Facebook on her screen. (John Heller/Post-Gazette)

Ten years ago, exactly on Feb. 4, Mark Zuckerberg and a group of his Harvard classmates founded The Facebook (as it was known until 2005).

Back then thefacebook.com was open to Harvard students only. Other Ivy League students were permitted to join in the summer that year and, soon thereafter, all college students could become members. Anyone with an .edu email address could sign up.

Pittsburgh-area students started getting access to it in the fall.

And to report on this exciting new phenomenon, the Post-Gazette assigned Bill Schackner to cover The Facebook locally.

His story from Nov. 28, 2004, began with an anecdote about Pitt senior Brian Kelly evaluating a friend request -- a novel concept at the time.

Kelly weighs the online request for all of two seconds, then uses a single keystroke to give his classmate the thumbs up. In the parlance of The Facebook, Kelly has just "friended" him. "He's a good kid. He was in my freshman studies class. I'm going to confirm it."

The article ran on the Sunday front page's top right column. The Facebook had clearly caught on by that point, even if high school students (and their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.) would not be able to join for another year or so.

Schackner described more of the nascent Facebook behavior that is now common.

Why, for instance, do people with seemingly endless chances to socialize face to face on campus flock to such a site? Is having half as many Facebook friends as your roommate any reason to think about moving back home?

And he noticed the already-shifting meaning of being friends with someone.

Adding a Facebook friend to one's tally doesn't necessarily imply intent to spend time with that person. At Pitt, Kelly has amassed 345 friends in just over a month [...] but a few he has never met. "Nobody really rejects friends unless you really hate somebody," he said. "It's all pretty non-committal."

Julian Dunn, a Carnegie Mellon freshman from Harmony, predicted one of its enduring purposes, saying he used it most often "when I'm on the Internet and I'm bored."

For more on poking and other outdated features of The Facebook, here's a copy of the page from that Sunday.

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