The iOpener: Brunswick Church Scammed Out of $2 Million; Cleveland Admits Ransomware Hack

A rendering of the outside of the St. Ambrose Church from 2017 before work began renovations.
A rendering of the outside of the St. Ambrose Church from 2017 before work began on renovations. The church says that it was scammed out of $2 million. [St. Ambrose Church]

Good morning, iOpeners. It's Tuesday, April 30, 2019. 

Staff at St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church in Brunswick say the church was scammed out of nearly $2 million. The church said an email led it to believe that a construction firm doing renovation work at the church had changed its bank account. The news comes one week after St. Ambrose had reopened for Easter following its four-months-long, $5.5 million renovation. 

In the wake of the deadly shooting at a synagogue in California, Gov. Mike DeWine is proposing “red flag” legislation that would allow authorities to confiscate weapons from people deemed a danger to themselves or others. A similar effort by fellow Republican and former Gov. John Kasich went nowhere in the Republican-controlled General Assembly. DeWine said he’s asked his staff to come up with a bill “that can actually pass.”

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's administration is finally acknowledging that ransomware was behind the computer malfunction last Monday that disabled flight and baggage information screens and email. Despite reports of a ransomware hack, city officials had refused to provide more details about the problem, calling it a "technical issue" for most of last week and denying that it was a hack. Chief communications officer Valerie McCall denied misleading reporters about the ransomware, saying the city provided information about the incident when it knew of them.

Cleveland’s city council approved a lease agreement with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that will allow the museum to expand and connect with the Great Lakes Science Center. The land needed for the expansion is owned by the city.  A Rock Hall official told the council the museum would begin raising money for the project, estimated to cost between $30 million and $35 million. 

Kent State University has named Todd Diacon as its new president. He had previously served as the university’s executive vice president and provost. He succeeds Beverly Warren, who announced last year that she’d be stepping down in July 2019 after five years at the helm.

Weather forecast: Cloudy, with a 30 percent chance of more showers later this afternoon, high 51 in Cleveland.  Tonight, Cloudy, a light wind, low 49.

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