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School board to hold upcoming meetings at neighborhood sites

In an effort encourage greater attendance at its monthly meetings the District 91 Board of Education will hold several upcoming meetings at schools throughout town. Each of the next four regularly scheduled board meetings will be held at a school within the district as opposed to the board’s usual meeting place on Desplaines Avenue at the administrative offices.

The upcoming Feb. 14 meeting will be held at the Field-Stevenson School. On March 13, the body will meet at Garfield Elementary; the April 10 meeting will be held at the Forest Park Middle School; and the May 8 meeting will be at Grant-White Elementary.

Restaurant dispute headed to trial

A financial dispute between business partners operating a popular Italian restaurant located just south of Madison Street is scheduled for trial in Cook County Circuit Court. According to records filed with the Fourth Municipal District Courthouse in Maywood, entrepreneurs Robert Marani and Gaetano DiBenedetto have until Feb. 11 to resolve their dispute before the matter goes before a judge.

Marani, who owns the building within which the restaurant is located, is suing DiBenedetto for a $10,000 security deposit. The pair never signed a formal lease agreement in opening La Piazza in 2003. In August, Marani attempted to force DiBenedetto, who serves as head chef, out of the business in lieu of $6,800 per month for rent.

DiBenedetto has asked the court to dismiss the case and will receive a ruling on that motion the day of the trial, according to court records. Since the dispute erupted, the chef has begun efforts to open his own restaurant on Madison Street, west of Desplaines Avenue.