Daily Briefs

 Snyder signs bill that allows college students to postpone jury duty

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill Tuesday that allows full-time college students to postpone jury duty until the end of the school year.

“Serving on a jury is an important part of our civic responsibility,” Snyder said. “However, for college students, jury duty can be disruptive to their studies. This law gives them the opportunity to focus on their education while still giving them the opportunity to serve after the school year.”   
House Bill 4570, sponsored by state Rep. Kevin Cotter, requires the chief judge of a judicial circuit or district to postpone the jury duty of students at Michigan’s public universities, community colleges and other educational institutions and vocational schools, if the student proves that it would interfere with his or her class schedule. A similar exemption already exists for eligible high-school students.
HB 4570 is now Public Act 10 of 2014.
 

Woman who faked cancer sentenced to 1-year jail term 

 
SANDUSKY, Mich. (AP) — A judge sentenced a Michigan woman to a year behind bars Wednesday in an “almost mind-boggling” scam cheating an insurance company and swindling big-hearted people in small communities who believed she had cancer.
 
Authorities said it was all an extraordinary lie: No doctor has ever stepped forward to even suggest that Sara Ylen had cancer.

Ylen, 38, already is serving a minimum five-year prison sentence in another case of deceit, and the one-year punishment for fraud will run at the same time.

Ylen claimed she developed cervical cancer from a sexual assault in 2001 and was regularly treated at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, Ill. The Michigan-based Mercy Hospice cut her off in 2011 after two years when tests showed her life wasn’t in peril. The cancer hospital later said it had no record of her as a patient.

The Lexington resident accepted thousands of dollars from supporters who for years regularly read of her plight in the Port Huron Times Herald. She repeatedly forged medical records, including documents that bore the letterhead of cancer specialists at the University of Michigan.

In January, Ylen pleaded no contest to fraud through false pretenses and false statements. A no-contest plea in Michigan is treated like a regular conviction for the purpose of a sentence.

“All of these fraudulent acts that you perpetrated on so many people, and the extent that you went to perpetrate them, is almost mind-boggling,” Sanilac County Circuit Judge Donald Teeple said. “You took advantage of the goodwill and generosity of people who were more than willing to assist you, all based on lies.”

Ylen was silent in court and has never given a public explanation. Wearing prison shackles and an oversized coat, she also declined to comment as officers escorted her to a van for a return trip to prison, where she is serving a sentence for falsely accusing two men of rape.

Prosecutor Brenda Sanford acknowledged that some people might consider the sentence to be light. But she said the judge simply was following Michigan law.

“There was nothing he could do to give her additional time,” Sanford said.

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