Axios Cleveland

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🚶 TGIF. It's Walk to Work Day, but maybe not in this weather.

🌧️ Today's weather: Rain or snow likely with a high of 42.

ğŸŽ‚ Happy early birthday to our Axios Cleveland member Charna Sherman!

ğŸŽ§ Sounds like: "The Final Countdown" by Europe

Today's newsletter is 898 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Women's Final Four taking over Cleveland

Iowa's Caitlin Clark practices at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The top women's college basketball star of all time, a perennial powerhouse and an undefeated team trying to make history.

Why it matters: The women's NCAA Final Four is at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse this weekend and is expected to generate an economic impact of $30 million for the city, according to Destination Cleveland.

Driving the news: No. 3 seed N.C. State takes on No. 1 South Carolina at 7pm tonight, and No. 1 Iowa faces No. 3 UConn at 9:30pm.

  • The winners will compete for the championship, tipping off at 3pm Sunday.

The intrigue: Iowa's Caitlin Clark has been on a tear, breaking the record for most points scored by a Division I basketball player and pushing the popularity of women's basketball to an all-time high.

  • South Carolina is looking to become the 10th undefeated champion in women's tournament history, while UConn is looking to win its 12th championship in school history, but its first since 2016.
  • UConn and N.C. State also have teams in the men's Final Four.

What we're watching: Monday's Elite Eight game between Iowa and LSU was the most-viewed women's college basketball game ever, with 12.3 million viewers.

  • Clark's showdown with UConn star Paige Bueckers tonight could beat that mark.

If you go: As of yesterday, the lowest price for a single game ticket to the women's Final Four was listed at $370 on SeatGeek.

  • Tonight's games will air on ESPN and ESPN+. Sunday's championship game will air on ABC.

Plus: The Party on the Plaza celebration takes place at Gateway Plaza near Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse today through Sunday.

  • Admission is free.

2. Ohio City condo from bitcoin case up for auction

3705 Clinton Ave. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

A two-bedroom, two-bath Ohio City condo worth about $660,000 will be auctioned by the U.S. Treasury next month after it was forfeited as part of a cryptocurrency criminal case.

Why it matters: Ohio City is prime real estate, and condos for purchase in the neighborhood are scarce. Bidding begins at $150,000 on May 24.

Catch up quick: Gary Harmon purchased the property for $600,000 in 2021, shortly after its construction.

  • Harmon is the younger brother of Larry Harmon, the founder of Helix, a bitcoin company that was used to shield proceeds from drug trafficking and other illicit activities on the dark web.
  • Larry was arrested in 2020 and pleaded guilty in 2021 to money laundering conspiracy. Per the DOJ, Gary then used his brother's passwords to access seized bitcoin wallets and transfer the equivalent of $4.8 million to new bitcoin wallets.
  • Gary used some of that bitcoin as collateral for a loan, which he used to buy the Ohio City condo.

State of play: Gary was sentenced to four years in prison for diverting the bitcoin from federal seizure. The cryptocurrency was liquidated, and the Cleveland condo will be auctioned.

Context: The 2,300-square-foot, two-level property is at 3705 Clinton Ave., a short walk from the Hingetown section of Ohio City.

  • It includes a wet bar, patio and one-car garage. HOA dues are $575 per month.

What's next: Those interested must register for the auction and submit a $25,000 deposit by May 23.

3. The Terminal: Blue light special

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

🛒 The nation's first Super Kmart, which opened in Medina in 1991, has been demolished. (Crain's Cleveland Business)

🌴 Republican Senate candidate Bernie Moreno raised roughly $350,000 during a fundraiser at Trump's Mar-a-Lago this year. (Axios)

ğŸŽ“ Cleveland State University will offer faculty and staff voluntary buyout packages as it prepares for a projected $40 million budget gap and declining enrollment. (Signal Cleveland)

💸 The nonprofit Cleveland Neighborhood Progress has upended its funding model in the hopes of more equitably providing grants to community development corporations. (

4. ğŸŽ¤ Dinner + a show: Scarface

The Brad "Scarface" Jordan experience. Photo: Jason Fochtman/Houston Chronicle via Getty Images

Hip-hop fans get to see an all-time great in a different kind of setting.

The intrigue: Southern rap icon Scarface brings his Behind the Desk Experience tour to the Agora at 7pm Sunday.

  • The trek is an extension of his NPR "Tiny Desk" concert that drew rave reviews last December and featured Scarface backed by a live band and vocalists.

Between the lines: The set list includes intimate versions of classics like "My Block," "Seen a Man Die" and "Smile."

If you go: Tickets start at $54.50.

Worthy of your time: Stop at nearby AsiaTown before the show to check out YYTime.

  • The Asian street-food restaurant, at Payne Avenue and East 30th Street, opened last month.

5. 🌑 Total eclipse of events

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

There is no shortage of options for celebrating Monday's total solar eclipse.

The intrigue: More than 200,000 visitors are expected to visit Northeast Ohio, according to Destination Cleveland.

What we're watching: The festivities begin today with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's SolarFest, which runs through Monday.

  • A few hundred feet away, some 50,000 people are expected to attend the Great Lakes Science Centers' Total Eclipse Fest tomorrow through Monday.

Here's a rundown of other eclipse events in Northeast Ohio:

ğŸŽ¶ Eclipse'd Fest

If you go: Tomorrow and Sunday at the Overlook Venue Event Center in Parma

  • Two-day celebration in Cleveland's biggest suburb featuring live music, food trucks, flea market, silent disco and car show.
  • The Rock Hall also has new artifacts on display from Black artists like Alicia Keys, Freddie King, Nile Rodgers, Elizabeth Cotten and others.

Price: Tickets start at $35.

🛳️ Total Eclipse of The Land

If you go: Sunday and Monday at the CLE Tiki Barge on the West Bank Flats

  • Live music, food trucks and drinks with a VIP patio and boat cruise upgrades.

Price: Tickets start at $25.

More events...

Thanks to our editor Lindsey Erdody and copy editors Rob Reinalda and Yasmeen Altaji.

Our picks:

❎ Sam is ruminating on the idea that the "x" in "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" is actually the multiplication symbol.

💪 Troy is at the gym, training in case he has to guard Caitlin Clark one on one.