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Morning Headlines: Cleveland Clinic Marks Milestone Baby Delivery, Two Great Lakes Beat Record

Photo of the Cleveland Clinic's Miller Family Pavillion
Cleveland Clinic

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, July 10:

  • Cleveland Clinic marks milestone baby delivery;
  • Two Great Lakes at record-high water levels;
  • Ohio reports strong financials, good outlook;
  • Rural Ohio areas to receive broadband internet access;
  • Highway Patrol: 12 dead over July 4th holiday;
  • Ohio opens grounds for self-driving vehicle testing;

Cleveland Clinic marks milestone baby delivery
Cleveland Clinic says it has delivered the first baby in North America after a womb transplant from a dead donor. Uterine transplants have enabled more than a dozen women to give birth, usually with wombs donated from a living donor such as a friend or relative. In December, doctors in Brazil reported the world's first birth using a deceased donor's womb. Cleveland Clinic said the baby  girl was born last month. The clinic has done five uterus transplants so far and three have been successful.

Two Great Lakes post record-high water levels
Water levels in two of the Great Lakes are at the highest ever recorded.  According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lakes Erie and Ontario last month reached their highest points since record-keeping began in 1918. Also setting a new mark was Lake St. Clair, which is part of the waterway linking Lakes Huron and Erie. Meanwhile, Lake Superior's level set a record for the month of June. Lakes Huron and Michigan missed setting a monthly record by less than an inch. Three months of abnormally wet weather have kept stream flows into the Great Lakes well above average.

Ohio reports strong financials, good outlook
Ohio finished in a strong financial position at the end of the most recent fiscal year, a good sign for the upcoming two-year budget. The Office of Budget and Management said state tax collections topped expectations by $651 million in June. Overall collections stood at $34 billion for fiscal year 2019. Gongwer News Service reports that the final tally for 2019 state taxes was also more than a billion dollars higher than fiscal year 2018. Both income and sales tax collections were strong. Ohio lawmakers have only approved a temporary spending plan for the current fiscal year which began July 1.

Rural Ohio areas to receive broadband internet access
Microsoft and an Ohio-based provider of telecommunications services have announced an agreement to extend broadband internet access to underserved rural areas of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois over the next three years. The deal between Microsoft and Lima-based Watch Communications aims to make reliable high-speed internet available to another 815,000 people, including 288,000 in Ohio. It expands on similar agreements such as the deal Microsoft struck last year with Canton-based Agile Networks to reach 110,000 unserved people in Ohio.

Highway Patrol: 12 dead over the 4th of July holiday
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said 12 people were killed in 12 traffic crashes during the Fourth of July holiday reporting period. A patrol release says impairment was determined to be a factor in at least three of those crashes.The patrol had warned last week that it would be cracking down on motorists who were drinking and driving during the reporting period that began July 3 and ended Sunday. Troopers made 709 arrests for impaired driving and 507 for drug-related charges. Eight people were killed in crashes during the two-day 4th of July holiday last year. One of those accidents in which three people died was related to driving under the influence.

Ohio opens grounds for self-driving vehicle testing
Officials in Ohio are opening a $45 million testing ground for self-driving vehicles. The Transportation Research Center Inc. will be unveiling its 540-acre SMARTCenter today. The state-of-the-art automated and connected testing facility is located in East Liberty, northwest of Columbus. The SMARTCenter features roads and structures intended to replicate the high-speed intersections, rural roads and urban areas normally encountered by drivers. Officials said the facility is among the most advanced in North America. The goal is to give researchers and vehicle developers access to the types of driving variables that autonomous cars will face in real-life driving situations.

Andrew Meyer is the deputy editor of news at Ideastream Public Media.