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Morning Headlines: Ryan Releases 10 Years of Tax Returns, KSU Names Diacon as Next President

Tim Ryan, U.S. Congressman from Ohio
Youngstown Rep. Tim Ryan

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, April 30:

  • Tim Ryan releases 10 years of tax returns;
  • KSU names Diacon as next president;
  • Ransomware behind Cleveland airport info screen woes;
  • Cleveland signs off on land lease for Rock Hall expansion;
  • Cleveland Council considers loan for nuCLEus project;
  • Bahama Breeze restaurant chain settles racial discrimination lawsuit;
  • Church says hackers stole $1.75M by using fake email;
  • Ethane storage facilities to be built along Ohio River;
  • DeWine considers red-flag gun law;

Tim Ryan releases 10 years of tax returns
Youngstown-area Congressman and presidential candidate Tim Ryan has released 10-years’ worth of tax returns. Cleveland.com reports Ryan earned just under $2 million over 10 years, far less than some other Democratic candidates. He had several tax deductions, mainly from charitable donations and student loan interest. He had an income of $165,000 last year and a nearly 22% federal tax rate. Ryan also reported $36,000 worth of rental property losses in 2016. He did earn $36,000 worth of royalties from the three books he's published. Ryan's estimated net worth ranked below the median of House and Senate members in 2016.

KSU names Diacon as next president
Kent State University has named its next president. Executive Vice President and Provost Todd Diacon will take over the top job in July when current president Beverly Warren steps down. Diacon has served as the provost for the last seven years, working to establish academic programs and a fall break for students taht was implemented last year. Diacon will start with a base salary of $475,000, $25,000 more than Warren’s starting salary in 2014. Diacon’s provost position will be filled with an interim for now. Diacon was selected from a national pool of candidates following a nearly $180,000 search by Russell Reynolds Associates.

Ransomware behind Cleveland airport info screen woes
Authorities said technical problems at Cleveland Hopkins Airport that plagued flight and baggage claim information screens all last week was related to a ransomware attack. The FBI says that ransomware was found on the network, but the city did not consider making any payments. City leaders last week denied that the computer systems were accessed by unauthorized personnel and that no ransom demands were involved. Cleveland City Council Monday approved legislation allowing the city to spend $750,000 to hire two outside contractors to fix the problems

Cleveland signs off on land lease for Rock Hall expansion 
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is closer to expanding its footprint. Cleveland city council has signed off on a lease of city-owned land to build a two-floor addition, connecting the Rock Hall to the Great Lakes Science Center. The nearly $35 million project is expected to add space for live performances, educational programs and exhibits. The Rock Hall will start its fundraising campaign for the addition soon.

Council considers loan for nuCLEus project
A $350 million mixed use project in downtown Cleveland could be getting a $12 million loan from the city. Council introduced the legislation last night with a condition that nuCLEus developer Stark Enterprises pay back 110% of the original amount using new income-tax and parking revenue generated by the project. Stark has scaled back the project since it was first introduced in 2014. It now plans to build a pair of 24-story towers for office space and 250 residential units. Council will vote on the legislation in a few weeks.

Bahama Breeze restaurant chain settles lawsuit
The Bahama Breeze restaurant chain has settled a lawsuit with a group of African American customers who claimed racial discrimination at the Cleveland-area restaurant last year. Twenty-five people sued, claiming Bahama Breeze managers falsely told police the group was causing a disturbance and threatened to leave without paying their bill. Terms of the settlement have not been released. In 2009, 37 black workers at that same Bahama Breeze sued the restaurant for racial harassment. The company settled for $1.26 million.

Church says hackers stole $1.75M by using fake email
A suburban Cleveland church says hackers tricked it into handing them $1.75 million. St. Ambrose Catholic Parish in Brunswick says the FBI determined the hackers deceived the church into wiring the money to a fraudulent bank account. The church said an email led it to believe that a construction firm doing a restoration project at the church had changed its bank account. The hackers took the money out of the fake bank account before anyone knew what happened. The church is working with The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and insurers to pay the bill.

Ethane storage facilities to be built along Ohio River
Two companies plan to build ethane storage facilities on both sides of the Ohio River. Ethane is a by-product of natural gas production that’s used as a raw material for plastics. Colorado-based Energy Storage Ventures says it will start construction this summer on a $150 million underground storage facility carved out of a deep salt formation in southeast Ohio. Another company is building a larger facility in West Virginia. Both will feed a proposed $10 billion plastics production plant, or cracker, planned for Shadyside, Ohio, and one being built near Pittsburgh by Shell Chemical.

DeWine considers red-flag law
Gov. Mike DeWine says he’s looking at the idea of allowing law enforcement to seize guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others. A so-called red flag law was proposed by a Republican lawmaker last year with the backing of former Gov. John Kasich, following his public change of heart on gun laws after the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. But the bill had no other sponsors and went nowhere after four hearings. DeWine on Monday brought up his concern over recent shootings at houses of worship, including the fatal Passover shooting at a California synagogue on Saturday.