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NEWS
November 1, 2014 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
For more than a year, Kevin Ricker enjoyed parking next to his $2,000-a-month apartment at the Piazza at Schmidts. He earned that right when he signed a lease to live at ground zero of the Northern Liberties redevelopment boom. On Thursday, however, he awoke to find that convenience had vanished - the financial analyst and 21 other Piazza residents could not find their cars. The culprit was not a thief, but an invisible foe who had issued an overnight towing order for reasons that remained shadowy as the day wore on. Was this a beef over a property dispute?
SPORTS
September 23, 2000 | by Dana Pennett O'Neil, Daily News Sports Writer
The Mets might finally have found the way to solve the Phillies riddle. Play Mike Piazza. The catcher, who almost pulled New York into the W column with a pinch-hit RBI single Thursday night, single-handedly made sure his team didn't fall victim to the Philly Phlu again. He launched two home runs - one to leftfield, one to right - to help the Mets to a 9-6 win last night at Veterans Stadium. It is only the fourth time New York has beaten the Phillies this season. "You're reading all the time about the troubles he's having," manager Terry Francona said.
NEWS
November 23, 2011 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia prosecutors finished their case Wednesday in the 2009 double slaying at the Piazza at Schmidts complex with a medical examiner's testimony that victim Rian Thal was killed by a gunshot wound to the head - with the gun barrel in contact with her scalp. The testimony of Gary Collins, the city's acting chief deputy medical examiner, painted a portrait of Thal, 34, not as the accidental shooting victim of a botched robbery but as someone who was executed. With the completion of the case by Assistant District Attorneys Carlos Vega and Jennifer Selber, the trial resumes Monday with what could be a very brief defense on behalf of the three defendants.
NEWS
November 22, 2011 | BY NATALIE POMPILIO, pompiln@phillynews.com 215-854-2595
A COMMON PLEAS Court judge yesterday ordered the jury in the prosecution of three men in the 2009 double murder at the Piazza at Schmidts to ignore the testimony of a key prosecution witness - "as if it never happened," the judge said - after the witness refused to answer questions from a defense attorney. Called to the stand for more than two hours on Friday, admitted shooter Donnell Murchison immediately stated, "I do not wish to testify," then gave one-word answers to some details of the crime under questioning by the prosecution.
NEWS
November 17, 2011 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
At 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, Texas truck driver Edward Emerson Jr. appears fearless for obvious reasons. But on June 27, 2009, Emerson told a Philadelphia jury on Thursday, he was "scared, terrified" - so frightened he urinated on himself. Emerson was afraid he was going to die, just like Rian Thal and his fellow trucker Timothy Gilmore, whom he saw shot to death through the peephole of Thal's new apartment in the upscale Piazza at Schmidts complex in Northern Liberties. Emerson, 43, was brought to Philadelphia from a federal prison to testify in the Common Pleas Court trial of three men on felony murder charges in what prosecutors say was a botched drug robbery.
NEWS
June 11, 2010 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
The trial for those charged in last summer's double homicide at the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties has been set for November 2011. Attorneys on both sides tried to schedule an earlier date, but the many defendants and lawyers involved meant conflicts were unavoidable. The date was set Thursday morning. Eight people have been arrested in connection with the June 26, 2009, slaying of Rian Thal and Timothy Gilmore, including the man accused of masterminding the killings and a woman who is expected to plead guilty to helping the gunmen stake out the victims.
NEWS
December 5, 2011 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
This morning's scheduled sentencing of Katoya Jones - who pleaded guilty to participating in the 2009 Piazza at Schmidts double murder - was postponed to Jan. 19 to give lawyers more time to prepare. Jones, 27, was to have been sentenced by Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner on her guilty plea to two counts of third-degree murder in the June 27, 2009 slayings of event-planner Rian Thal and friend Timothy Gilmore at the new Piazza at Schmidts complex in Northern Liberties.
NEWS
December 27, 2011 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was just before 6 p.m. and still daylight on June 27, 2009, when police descended on the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties. The newly opened apartment and shopping complex was teeming with people enjoying cocktails at the courtyard restaurants. Upstairs, on the top floor of the seven-story Navona building on North Hancock Street, residents had just discovered the bodies of a man and a woman, riddled with bullets, in the hallway. Initially, police were unsure what the victims - 34-year-old Rian Thal, a party promoter well-known in the city's nightclub scene, and Timothy Gilmore, a 41-year-old long-haul trucker from Ohio - had to do with each other.
NEWS
November 16, 2011 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, deanm@phillynews.com 215-854-5949
TWO FORMER confidants of the man on trial for allegedly masterminding the June 2009 double murder/robbery at Piazza at Schmidts testified yesterday about how they became involved in the crimes that cost them their freedom. Katoya Jones, 27, a former pharmaceutical-company employee who lived at the Piazza in Northern Liberties, and Langdon Scott, 28, a North Philadelphia crack dealer with a rap sheet, also placed the alleged ringleader, Will Hook, 43, a/k/a Keith Epps, at the center of the plot.
NEWS
November 8, 2011 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
As the number of defendants dropped from six to three, Philadelphia prosecutors Monday withdrew the threat of the death penalty from the trial of those charged in the double slaying during a botched 2009 drug robbery at the Piazza at Schmidts complex. Restricted by a judge-imposed gag order, prosecutors could not discuss why they decided to take capital punishment off the table in the charges against alleged gunman Antonio Wright. Wright, 30, was one of three alleged gunmen who on June 27, 2009, opened fire on party planner Rian Thal and her friend Timothy Gilmore in a confrontation in the hallway outside her posh seventh-floor apartment in the Navona, one of several buildings in the Piazza complex in Northern Liberties.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 20, 2016
Need something to do this weekend? Don't worry, we got you covered. BUMP, GRIND 9 p.m. Friday, World Cafe Live , 3025 Walnut St. $18. 215-222-1400. Approved by Game of Thrones scribe George R.R. Martin (but not necessarily part of the Westeros canon), this show features swords, skin, and steamy goings-on. If not for having a bit less gore - and a lot more pasties - it might qualify as an episode of G.R.R.M.'s and HBO's pastiche epic, albeit less grim and more fun. The cast, featuring the talents of Bella La Blanc and Cherie Sweetbottom, will be joined by guest Noelle Reigns from the far-flung region of New York - the fabled metropolis to the north said to exist past the wilds of New Jersey.  - Michael Harrington FILM Party at 6 p.m., movie at 7:30 p.m. Friday, William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. $25. 215-587-9377.
SPORTS
July 26, 2016 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - It was a made-for-Hollywood story that reached its peak in the Big Apple after the briefest of stops in Miami. The final emotional act played out Sunday in the place where some of baseball's greatest players have been coming for years to take the ultimate bow. Tears started flowing as soon as catcher Mike Piazza stepped to the podium to begin his 28-minute Hall of Fame induction speech in the searing heat Sunday afternoon....
SPORTS
July 26, 2016 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - It was the Hall of Fame induction ceremony that made the baseball draft look silly, but nobody in the sun-drenched crowd of an estimated 50,000 really cared Sunday. They just wanted to pay tribute to Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza for all they did after they were drafted. Griffey, selected by the Seattle Mariners in 1987, became the first No. 1 overall pick in history to land in Cooperstown and if that seemed like an indictment of the draft process, it could not even begin to compare with Piazza's crazy story.
BUSINESS
June 2, 2016 | By Jacob Adelman, Staff Writer
Shared-office giant WeWork opens its first Philadelphia location Wednesday, a validation of - and potential threat to - the city's large existing contingent of collaborative-workspace operators. The 30,000-square-foot, two-story space at the former Schmidt's brewery building in Northern Liberties' Piazza development is the first of three shared-office facilities planned in the city by New York-based WeWork. To follow in the fall are a 30,000-square-foot space at 1430 Walnut St. - a glass-walled retail building that also accommodates a Cheesecake Factory restaurant - and a 40,000-square-foot location on the 19th and 20th floors of the Five Penn Center office building at 1601 Market St. "We look for cities that have a robust mix of the right elements: a real percolating tech community, an active investment community, strong support from the city," said Dave McLaughlin, the company's eastern U.S. general manager.
SPORTS
January 8, 2016 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Staff Writer
Mike Piazza's election to baseball's Hall of Fame Wednesday completes a curiously connected trinity of locally born Dodgers. He now joins Roy Campanella and Tommy Lasorda as the last link in a chain that began more than a half-century ago in Brooklyn. Like Piazza, the manager who had a brief mid-'50s career as a pitcher was born in Norristown. One of his closest friends was Vince Piazza, his future catcher's father and another Norristown native. It's that Norristown connection, as much as anything, that Piazza can credit for his big-league career, not to mention his Hall of Fame selection.
NEWS
September 1, 2015
W ILLIAM BROWN, 34, of Laverock, Montgomery County, owns the Duke Barber Co. He opened the first shop in 2009 in the Piazza at Schmidt's, in Northern Liberties, and opened a second location Aug. 8 at Germantown and Willow Grove avenues, in Chestnut Hill. Brown's grandfather and father both owned barbershops in the city, and he started working in a shop when he was 12, sweeping floors.   Q: How'd you come up with the idea? A: I got my barber's license about 10 years ago and started working in shops around the city.
TRAVEL
June 29, 2015 | By Tom Koppel, For The Inquirer
FINALE LIGURE, Italy - It was a perfect Sunday afternoon by the sea. Kids kicked soccer balls around or raced their bikes across the cobblestones of the compact piazza. Three sides of the square had centuries-old pastel houses with painted shutters and ironwork balconies. The fourth side opened onto the Mediterranean and was framed by an ornate triumphal arch. This is Finale Ligure, an overlooked jewel of the Italian Riviera an hour by train east of Monaco. The town has four villages linked along a rugged curved coastline of beaches and rocky headlands.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2015 | By Jenny DeHuff
"AMERICA'S GOT Talent" finalist and country singer Emily West will be a resident act at World Cafe Live (3025 Walnut St.) beginning tonight and for the next three Tuesdays in April. The Iowa-born young pop star appeared on the ninth season of the NBC hit reality show, where she finished as the runner-up behind Rhode Island magician Mat Franco . West rose to fame when she and fellow country crooner Keith Urban paired up for "Blue Sky," a duet they did in 2010. Fans can pick up her debut album, "All For You," when it's released in August.
NEWS
November 1, 2014 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
For more than a year, Kevin Ricker enjoyed parking next to his $2,000-a-month apartment at the Piazza at Schmidts. He earned that right when he signed a lease to live at ground zero of the Northern Liberties redevelopment boom. On Thursday, however, he awoke to find that convenience had vanished - the financial analyst and 21 other Piazza residents could not find their cars. The culprit was not a thief, but an invisible foe who had issued an overnight towing order for reasons that remained shadowy as the day wore on. Was this a beef over a property dispute?
NEWS
July 3, 2014 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
IN SAM FARINA'S eyes, the hundreds of fans who packed the Piazza at Schmidts courtyard in Northern Liberties last night to watch the end of the U.S. team's World Cup run had two options after the nail-biting loss to Belgium. "We can either go home or go to the bars and drink the depression off," joked Farina, 23, as hordes of disappointed fans vacated the plaza, leaving a layer of crushed Pabst and Budweiser cans in their wake. For Farina, a classroom aide from Chester Springs, and her group of friends, the latter was the better option.
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