Traverse City Record-Eagle

July 10, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 07/10/2013

Associated Press

— MSU is going to lead $14M dioxin study

EAST LANSING — Michigan State University scientists plan to lead a $14.1 million initiative to better understand how dioxins affect human health and identify new ways of removing them from the environment, the school announced Tuesday.

Researchers will use a five-year grant from the Superfund Research Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to support multiple studies on the toxic industrial byproducts, the East Lansing school said.

Rutgers University, Purdue University, the Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences in North Carolina and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also are involved.


Woman on trial for fake cancer scheme

SANDUSKY — A pastor in a small Michigan town wrestled a bit over whether to allow his congregation to hold a fundraiser for a woman struggling with cancer. But his concerns were eased when he got a letter from a doctor, saying Sara Ylen could have as little as six months to live.

“That’s what motivated it,” Ryan Budde testified Tuesday. “Absolutely.”

The event raised $10,000. But now, a year later, the fundraiser has turned into a criminal case, one of many charges against Ylen. State police say she had no cancer while executing an elaborate scheme to fool a hospice provider, her health insurer and friends who repeatedly rallied to support her and two sons.


Woman charged with dumping mom’s body

PORT HURON — A judge has ordered an Oregon woman to stand trial on a murder charge in the death of her 89-year-old mother whose body was left outside a Michigan thrift store.

Judge John Monaghan says there’s evidence that reckless acts by Kelly Rhodes contributed to the death of Mary Grenia of Salem, Ore. He says the dumping of the body near Port Huron was a “callous” act.

Rhodes and Grenia lived together. Traveling in a truck, they passed through Michigan while attempting to move to Ontario, Canada, in March but were turned away at the border. Grenia died in the truck a few days later. An autopsy revealed heart and lung disease.

Rhodes is charged with an open count of murder. A jury can determine whether it’s first- or second-degree murder.