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Visitation begins Friday for Minnesota Deputy Josh Owen

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Pope County Deputy Josh Owen will be remembered in a funeral service in Glenwood, Minnesota on Saturday, April 22.

POPE COUNTY, Minn. — One week after Deputy Joshua Owen was killed in the line of duty, family, friends, fellow law enforcement and the Pope County community will pay their respects before laying the fallen officer to rest.

Before his funeral on Saturday, the public is invited to a visitation on Friday, April 21 from 4-8 p.m. at Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood, Minnesota. A second visitation will run from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday before the funeral service begins at 10:30, also at the high school.

KARE 11 will carry the funeral service for Deputy Owen live starting at 10:30 a.m. on kare11.com, the KARE 11 mobile app, the KARE 11 YouTube page and streaming on the free KARE 11+ app for Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and other smart TV devices.

Following the funeral service, a local law enforcement procession will escort Deputy Owen and his family from Minnewaska High School to a private ceremony at the cemetery. According to the Pope County Sheriff’s Office, a second procession of hundreds of law enforcement and first responder partner agencies will follow the same route.

In the days since his death, Deputy Owen has been remembered as a loving husband and father, a dedicated law enforcement officer and a pillar of his community with “a heart as big as his stature.”

“Josh and I were together for 18 years, the last twelve of which were right here in Pope County, where we put down our family’s roots,” his wife Shannon said in a statement, which was read on her behalf Thursday by a cousin.

“Josh was such an incredible man and such a devoted father to Rylan. He was selfless and would help anyone who asked, and he sought out those who haven’t even asked yet,” she said.

Deputy Owen was shot and killed on Saturday, April 15 while responding to a domestic situation in the Pope County community of Cyrus. He was 44 years old, and died on his birthday. 

An officer from Starbuck, Minnesota was hurt in the shooting but not hospitalized, and another deputy from the Pope County Sheriff’s Office was shot but treated and released from the hospital.

The man officers were trying to arrest was wounded in the exchange of gunfire and declared dead at the scene.

Josh’s father Dan Owen, who himself spent decades in law enforcement, said the job was the perfect fit for his son.

“It was a tragic end but wouldn’t change a thing,” Dan Owen shared. “He was cut from granite for this line of work.”

Scott Kowski met Owen while serving in the Minnesota National Guard, and the pair spent 22 months straight together in 2005-2007 while deployed to Iraq.

“Josh was one of those guys that had that humor, attitude. He always had a smile on his face. No matter what we were doing, he always would chuckle.”

Those looking to make a donation in Deputy Owen’s memory are encouraged to contribute to one of the following funds, where all proceeds will go directly toward his family:

  1. The Josh Owen Memorial Fund at Glenwood State Bank, 5 Minnesota Ave West, Glenwood, MN 56334 (Administered by Peter Nelson 320-634-5111)
  2. The Josh Owen Memorial Fund at Eagle Bank, 2 Franklin Street South, Glenwood, MN 56334 (Administered by Matt Daniels 320-634-4545)

Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities and across Minnesota in our YouTube playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

WATCH MORE ON KARE 11+

Download the free KARE 11+ app for Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV and other smart TV platforms to watch more from KARE 11 anytime! The KARE 11+ app includes live streams of all of KARE 11’s newscasts. You’ll also find on-demand replays of newscasts; the latest from KARE 11 Investigates, Breaking the News and the Land of 10,000 Stories; exclusive programs like Verify and HeartThreads; and Minnesota sports talk from our partners at Locked On Minnesota. 



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Grow with KARE: Three types of Lavender

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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — When deciding which type of lavender to add to your garden, the choice will likely be between three main types commonly found at garden centers. All have flowers that are gorgeous and make beautiful garden plants, but beyond that, each variety has special and specific traits.

English Lavenders: Generally sweet and used for culinary purposes. Everyone has different tastes, of course, but generally, the varieties to used for cooking are from the Lavandula angustifolia family, known as English lavender. Any English lavender cultivar will be flavorful. Try “Royal Velvet,” “Folgate,” “Melissa,” “Munstead”, or “Lady.”

French Lavenders: Also edible but isn’t usually used for culinary. They have a higher oil content which can make the lavender taste soapy to some. That trait makes French Lavender wonderful for distilling into essential oil. The stems are also longer, which are great for cuttings.

Spanish Lavenders: Not hardy enough to thrive outside in Minnesota, but you may find them at garden centers as topiaries. These will not grow back in our northern climate if planted in the ground and should be treated as an annual.



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Rainbow Health abruptly shuts down

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According to the organization’s website, Rainbow Health served 2,366 Minnesotans last year alone.

MINNEAPOLIS — A nonprofit organization that’s long served the state’s LGBTQ+ community abruptly closed Thursday, shocking both its staff and clients.

In a statement posted to Facebook on Thursday, the organization announced the closure of Rainbow Health, saying:  “Due to insurmountable financial challenges, we can no longer sustain our operations.”

A similar message was shared with staff hours before the organization – that serves thousands of people across the state – closed its doors.

“We were told that Rainbow Health was insolvent and would be dissolving as of 5 p.m.,” said Ash Tifa, the program coordinator for Rainbow Health Legal Services.

According to the organization’s website, Rainbow Health served 2,366 Minnesotans last year alone. But workers say they work with tens of thousands of people within a marginalized community.

“Our organization serves thousands and thousands across Minnesota, with everything from case management, to therapy and telehealth, a pharmacy, housing support, rent checks, grocery money,” Tifa said, adding: “We’re the State’s largest AIDS-service organization.”

Tifa noted that the move comes just days after the organization’s CEO resigned following a unanimous vote of “No Confidence” by those workers who are represented by SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa. And while the workers remain deeply concerned for their clients, they also have questions and concerns for a board they feel didn’t keep them in the loop or fulfill their contract.

In a statement posted to SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa, the union stated: “Despite contract language in the workers’ union contract as members of SEIU Healthcare MN & IA that requires 30 days advance notice of layoff to union-represented employees, workers found out just hours before the organization said it was closing its doors forever, with no explanation of what happened or what is next for the workers, clients or community.”

Amid all the turmoil, advocates are also urging clients to consider other community resources for care. 

In a statement, Shannah Mulvihill with Mental Health Minnesota, said:

“I am saddened to hear about the closure of Rainbow Health, which helped serve important needs in our LGBTQIA+ community. Unfortunately, many nonprofits are experiencing significant funding challenges right now, especially those providing direct services and care. Many Minnesotans who had relied on Rainbow Health may not know where to turn for help, but there is support available during this time.

Mental Health Minnesota’s Warmline provides peer support every day from 9 AM to 9PM if you need to talk, and the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is open 24/7 if you’re struggling.

Minnesota Warmline (peer support)

Call: 855-WARMLINE (855-927-6546)

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

The Trevor Project (LGBTQ support)



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Business owners oppose proposed homeless shelter in Uptown

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The shelter would offer medical respite services to homeless people. Local business owners and residents plan to oppose at the Planning Commission’s Aug. 12 meeting.

MINNEAPOLIS — For the last four years, Mattisse Johnson has operated #FACE, her day spa in Uptown, with the door locked.

“Because all day long we have people off the street who try to come in,” she said. “We have had people we’ve let in, thinking they’re here for good reasons, and they’ve stolen from us. In the middle of the day.”

Mattisse says she wants her business to stay at the corner of West Lake Street and Colfax , because she’s a believer in Uptown — and its recovery.

“I love Uptown because growing up in Minneapolis, this was the dream,” she said.

But a proposed homeless shelter right across the street has business owners banding together in opposition. 

“I think it would be great somewhere else. I just don’t think it belongs on a business corridor,” Johnson said.

“One more thing that’s going to impede the recovery of uptown,” said State Farm insurance agent Lawrence Thomas.

Thomas, whose office is right next door, feels the same as Matisse — that homeless services are needed but that the location is not appropriate.

“And I feel like these conversations, if they’re uncomfortable, I get it. But they need to be had,” Thomas said.

The proposal before the Minneapolis Panning Commission is from Lakeshore Care Inc, a company formed in March. 

Its project description says they plan to “offer temporary, supportive care for individuals recovering from illnesses or medical procedures.”

Lakeshore Care told KARE 11 News they have a medical team with decades of experience to offer respite care.

They want that particular location for proximity to healthcare providers, accessibility, and community integration..

And they plan to address safety concerns in part with security patrols and not allowing clients to “loiter or wander aimlessly”

In this week’s meeting several people spoke out.  Local business owner Andrea Corbin from the Uptown Association and Lynnlake Association says residents are weighing in as well.

“It’s everybody that lives and works in this area,” Corbin said.

The next step in this process is the Minneapolis Planning Commission will hold a hearing on August 12.



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