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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Grand Rapids man sentenced for stabbing last summer

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. - A Grand Rapids man has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for a July stabbing that left the victim seriously injured.

Twenty-nine-year-old Joshua Julien pleaded guilty to first-degree assault last month as part of a deal with prosecutors.  Julien was originally charged with attempted murder and two other felonies for stabbing 23-year-old Kyle Johnson multiple times with a large chrome knife.  Johnson is still recovering from stab wounds to his abdomen, chest and hands. 


The Minnesota Department of Health reports influenza activity remains low across the state.  The latest update shows three flu-related hospitalizations during the week ending November 2nd.  No schools or nursing homes reported outbreaks, and there have been no deaths so far this fall.  State health officials expect flu activity to pick up this month.  


Another Minnesota priest is the subject of a lawsuit over accusations of child sexual abuse, after the state legislature voted to extend the statute of limitations on such crimes earlier this year.  The lawsuit being filed is on behalf of a man in his 50's, who alleges Father Jerome Kern sexually abused him for four years, beginning when he was 12 years old and a young parishioner at Our Lady of Grace in Edina.  The suit also names the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  Attorney Jeff Anderson says church officials were negligent in allowing Kern to continue to work with children despite receiving reports of misconduct by the priest as early as 1969.


After a knock on the door of Saint Mary's Cathedral Wednesday, Bishop Donald Kettler was officially welcomed into the Catholic Diocese of St. Cloud.  In his homily, Kettler talked about 11 years he served as bishop of the Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska, saying the time taught him in a vivid, multi-cultural way that we are all one people under God.  Kettler says when he got the call to come to Saint Cloud, he was flattered, excited, humbled and certainly nervous.  A Mass of Installation took place yesterday at Saint Mary's Cathedral.  Afterwards, Bishop Kettler held a blessing of the city and the Diocese on the steps of the church. 


The search for a new president at Minnesota State University-Moorhead begins when an advisory committee meets for the first time yesterday.  Committee Chair Richard Hanson, president of Bemidji State University, says a national search is underway to find a replacement for Edna Szymanski who will retire at the end of June.  He says MSUM is working on a plan to erase a looming deficit of as much as eight million dollars.  Hanson says that problem could be a barrier for some candidates, but the real experienced and confident ones will see is as "an exquisite challenge of leadership."  The search will be narrowed to a short list of candidates by early April and a final recommendation made to the state college and university board later that month. 


Spirit Airlines starts seasonal service today between Minneapolis-St.Paul and four new warm-weather destinations.  Nonstop daily flights begin to Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix Sky Harbor and Tampa from Terminal Two Humphrey.  Spirit is also resuming nonstop seasonal service today from MSP to Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Spirit started flying out of the Twin Cities in June 2012.  The airline offers extremely low airfares, but charges a fee for things like carry-on baggage, water, snacks and printed boarding passes.