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Report: international auto mogul dies of cancer

Abraham Jaffe, the chairman of international auto dealer Currie Motors, died last week following a years-long battle with prostate cancer, according to a Sun-Times report.

Currie Motors first opened on Roosevelt in Forest Park in 1981 when the company expanded its operation to the U.S. from London. Jaffe, a native of South Africa, also ran dealerships in that country, according to the report. He died March 19 at the age of 80.

Currie Motors currently operates two dealerships in Forest Park, but is considering a move to consolidate its operations to a single location. Stiff credit markets and the ongoing recession have hurt profits at both locations, according to the company. To help fund renovation costs for the expected consolidation, Currie Motors has asked village council members to return an estimated $1 million in future sales tax revenue to the company. An agreement has not yet been reached on that request. It was unclear whether Jaffe’s death would impact the local dealerships, and a phone call to an attorney for Currie Motors was not immediately returned.

Police looking for new space

A vacant building attached to village hall on Desplaines Avenue could be renovated in the coming months to accommodate the police department. During a March 23 council meeting, members voted to have plans drawn up for 501 Desplaines that would create office space, evidence storage and interviewing rooms for the department’s detectives.

Police Chief Jim Ryan said he hopes to get rid of the trailer parked behind village hall that the department has been using as office space for years. It would save the municipality $800 per month in rent, increase the amount of storage space and project a more professional image for the department, he said. Officers would also continue to use the department’s facilities at village hall, 517 Desplaines.

“The trailer really is an eyesore,” Ryan said.

The department does not have a firm timeline for the proposed project. According to the chief, any work would be paid for with cash collected as a result of drug busts and other property seizures.

Fight video fallout

Proviso high school school officials met behind closed doors last week to consider disciplinary measures against several female students involved in a Feb. 19 fight that was recorded and posted on the Internet. A spokeswoman for District 209 said she could only confirm that those students’ cases were heard March 19 by the school board. Student privacy laws restrict the district from commenting on what punishment, if any, was handed down, she said.

“We have zero tolerance for violence of any sort on school grounds,” Superintendent Nettie Collins-Hart said in a prepared statement. “Administration and district security handled the situation appropriately.”

Three 16-year-old sophomore girls at Proviso East are facing criminal charges for their alleged roles in the altercation, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office. Two girls were charged with felony aggravated battery and felony mob action. The third student, believed to have filmed the incident, was charged with mob action. All three students are residents of Melrose Park.

Softball ceremony

A groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of a softball hall of fame in Forest Park will be held Saturday, April 4 at the park district. Fundraising for the 16-inch Softball Hall of Fame began in earnest in July as the 40th annual no-gloves tournament got underway. Project organizers expect to build an outdoor seating and display on the western portion of the park district site before renovating a small, vacant structure at the location.

The groundbreaking will take place immediately after the park’s annual Easter egg hunt, which begins at 10 a.m. The western edge of the park, where the hall of fame is to be built, is at the corner of Harrison and Desplaines.