Reporter helps locals fight alleged swindling; Humboldt’s last week of news

Kym Kemp’s coverage on an insurance salesman accused of swindling non-profits has possibly prevented quite a few locals from being financially bullied. John Ford has allegedly been selling fake insurance to at least one cannabis-related non-profit. On top of that he may have also taken rent money from a Eureka non-profit that helps the homeless.
“People that you can respect and think are reputable business people can be involved in things that aren’t to your best interest and you need to be cautious,” Kemp said, giving credit to Thomas Mulder for courageously writing the first complaint letter. “And it’s not just the cannabis businesses that can be caught up in this, it can be any business.”
Kemp also noted in her interactions with Ford he struck her as a nice man and it was difficult for her to publish information about him she wishes wasn’t true.
Also covered: The failed thieves who rammed a truck through a wall at College of the Redwoods trying to steal an ATM, the doggone retirement of an esteemed Arcata cop, that new brewery mostly for South Korea but a little bit for us, the shouldn’t-have-done-that moment of the week at the North Jetty, a politician trying to protect Humboldt’s cannabis brand, our National and State Parks going viral, a meeting to help save the Weott Volunteer Fire Department, and some other stuff.

Lawyer who aided ashes return speaks, family too; Humboldt’s last week of news

After the Wagner family in Westhaven was burglarized and had their son’s ashes ransomed back to them for $5,000, the lawyer that made the transaction possible has been criticized in anonymous comments alleging she is protecting the burglars and that she profited in some way from the exchange. The attorney says in reality she’s been acting in full communication with the police and worked free of charge. She mentioned her client told her he did not commit any crimes, wanted to do the right thing, and is afraid to reveal the robbers’ identities for fear of his safety.
“These people don’t know me, and lawyers are not a particularly esteemed group of people,” said attorney Kathleen Bryson after declining to go on camera for Inside Edition. “The only good thing about the banking crisis in my view is that bankers actually made lawyers look good. So I’m used to this. But I got into law to help people and do what’s right… Anonymity and blogs are fun, it’s a way to blow of steam, but at the end of the day people that know me know that I have nothing but good intentions for the family.”
In the interview the attorney delved into her motivations, the impression her client gave her, and noted that she spoke with her client about revealing the identities of the burglars. She says at the end of the day that decision is her client’s.
“(During the transaction) I did have a fantasy of keeping the money and bringing back the ashes (to return both to the family),” Bryson said. “And a high speed chase away from these people. But I’m not going to put a bullet in my chest. It’s nice to think about.”
Ryan Wagner lost his life in 2011 to cancer at the age of six. His dolphin urn, ashes and courage beads are now back with his family at the price of five grand. His mother Anita Wagner encouraged Bryson’s client to come forward with the burglars’ identities and believes we should not live in a world where criminals can get away with burglary and ransom by having an acquaintance hire a lawyer. But mostly she wanted to thank the community for all of the support her family has received.
“This place holds so much beauty and Humboldt has had our backs since this all happened,” Anita Wagner said. “It's been uplifting to have that support when we were feeling so heartbroken and so angry at this whole ordeal.”
Here is a link to the donations page for the family as they continue to try and recoup the losses from the burglary of their home in Westhaven and the ransom of Ryan.
The story begins at 4:28.
Also covered: Eureka’s Carl’s Jr. sign losing it’s Carl’s tenure, that $5 million dollar settlement, Ferndale and NORML budding [sic] heads over the Humboldt County Cup, that teenager-punching dad’s arrest warrant, HSU massages on Trump day, movie stars, and more.

HSU alums make Forbes' 30 Under 30; Humboldt's last week of news

Three HSU alums made Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list, noting the Rad Power Bikes executives as young, up-and-coming powerhouses in manufacturing and industry. Marimar White Espin, Tyler Collins, and Mike Radenbaugh all went to college in Arcata, with the latter two graduating from South Fork High School.

“I think that so many people we grew up with — their parents moved from other areas to Humboldt County to get a much different life experience,” said Collins, the electric bicycle company’s VP of Marketing and Sales. “We’ve known for quite a while that we wanted to do something different and something unique and I think that that’s helped shape Rad Power Bikes a lot.”

The Forbes nod has been a boost for company morale and they believe it will establish even more trust with their sizable and growing customer base. They also had some inspiring words for Humboldtians with big dreams. The story begins at 3:56.

Also covered: Lake Ferndale and the bus blunder, that insurance investigation, national recognition of local beauty, celebrity sightings, bypassing black cats, and more.

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