ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
77°
T-storms
H 83° L 66°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    77°
    Current Conditions
    T-storms. H 83° L 66°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    83°
    Today
    T-storms. H 83° L 66°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    83°
    Tomorrow
    Partly Cloudy. H 83° L 67°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Local
Want a part of the Berlin Wall?
Close

Want a part of the Berlin Wall?

Combs-Berlin Wall

Want a part of the Berlin Wall?

It was a concrete symbol of the Iron Curtain, a 12-foot tall wall that encircled West Berlin, marking the line between Communism and Democracy. A huge hunk of history, this four-foot wide portion of the wall is on display in front of Suwanee City Hall.
 
If you like it, you can have it. For a price.
 
“It is definitely for sale!” exclaimed Bill Frye. “Bid early and bid often, people.”
 
Frye is one of 57 people federal authorities said had been scammed by a man named Ben Dehaan and his investment company, Lighthouse Financial Partners. Together, the SEC estimated victims lost a total of $7.5 million.
 
Greg Hays was named to liquidate Dehaan’s assets in order to recover everything possible on behalf of the victims.
 
“This is actually the final asset that we have,” said Hays. “We a house and some other investments that we sold and some cash that we recovered.”
 
So far, however, the recovery process has returned just $1 million to investors like Bill Frye.
 
Built in the early 1960s, the Berlin Wall became synonymous with governmental tyranny and oppression. In 1987, President Reagan stood before the wall and thousands of cheering West Berliners, demanding of his Soviet counterpart, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
 
Two years later, the wall came tumbling down.
 
Dehaan reportedly paid $90,000 for the chunk of history that now stands before Suwanee City Hall. How do you set an auction price for such a remarkable piece of history?
 
“The answer is, we don’t. By advertising it as an absolute auction, no minimum and no reserves, we let the market speak,” said Julien “Jeb” Howell III, president of Auction Management Corporation.
 
Still, scam victims like Bill Frye, who said he lost 20-percent of his life savings in the Lighthouse Financial Partners Ponzi scheme, said they are hopeful.
 
“The more money we can raise, the better it is for the investors,” said Frye.
 
Where will this wall segment end up? Hays said there’s no telling.
 
“We hope this piece finds a good home at a museum or a school, or some other facility where the public can learn from this,” he said.
 
Over the weekend… Hays and Howell discovered this section of the wall may have been painted by celebrity artist Peter Max. That could boost its worth from thousands of dollars to millions. The auction takes place in front of Suwanee City Hall Saturday. You can also bid online.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

News

  • Heavy rain is likely to blame for part of building collapsing onto a downtown Atlanta sidewalk. It wasn't raining at the time Friday, but day after day of rain must have weakened the moulding at the top of the 2-story building on Pyror Street. The collapsed happened around 8 a.m. Friday when part of the building's decorative façade came crashing down. In exclusive video to Channel 2 Action News, a car driving down the street had to swerve to get out of the way of any falling debris. Two cars parked in the street were hit and had minor damage. Construction workers across the street said there was a man walking close by that was given a scare, but thankfully no one was injured. Channel 2 Action News spoke to the owner whose family's law firm operates out of the building. 'We are calling structural engineers, calling emergency crews to come clean up the mess, and then hopefully the city of Atlanta will allow us to open the front of the building to our clients can get inside,' said building owner Karen King. A structural engineer come out later and deemed the building sound.
  • Britain's fire-safety crisis expanded substantially Saturday as authorities said 34 high-rise apartment blocks across the country had cladding that failed fire safety tests. London officials scrambled to evacuate four public housing towers after experts found them 'not safe for people to sleep in overnight.' Hundreds of residents hastily packed their bags and sought emergency shelter, with many angry and confused about the chaotic situation. Some refused to leave their high-rise apartments. Scores of evacuees slept on inflatable beds in a gym while officials sought better accommodations for them. Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said it decided to evacuate four blocks in north London's Chalcots Estate late Friday after fire inspectors uncovered problems with 'gas insulation and door stops,' which, combined with the presence of flammable cladding encasing the buildings, meant residents had to leave immediately. The evacuation comes amid widening worries about the safety of high-rise apartment blocks across the country following the inferno that engulfed Grenfell Tower in west London on June 14, killing at least 79 people. Attention has focused on the 24-story tower's external cladding material, which has been blamed for the rapid spread of that blaze, but multiple other fire risks have now been identified in some housing blocks. The government said Saturday that the cladding samples that failed fire safety tests came from 34 apartment towers in cities including London, Manchester, Plymouth and Portsmouth. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said further testing 'is running around the clock.' So far, Camden Council has been the only local authority to have asked residents to leave as a precaution. It said about 650 apartments were evacuated, though initial reports put the figure at 800 apartments. The council said residents would be out of their homes for three to four weeks while it completes fire-safety upgrades. 'I know some residents are angry and upset, but I want to be very clear that Camden Council acted to protect them,' Gould said in a statement. 'Grenfell changed everything, and when told our blocks were unsafe to remain in, we acted.' Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been criticized for her slow response to the Grenfell tragedy, said Saturday that the government was supporting Camden officials to ensure residents have somewhere to stay while building work is done. In response, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said May needed to 'get a grip' and lead a stronger response to what is now a 'national threat.' Residents — including families with babies and elderly relatives — trooped out of the buildings late Friday night with suitcases and plastic bags stuffed with clothes. Council workers guided dozens to a nearby gym, where they spent the night on inflatable mattresses. Others were being put up in hotels or other housing projects. Many residents complained about a lack of information and confusion. Officials first announced the evacuation of one building, then expanded it to five before reducing it to four. Some residents said they learned about the evacuation from the television news hours before officials came knocking on doors. Renee Williams, 90, who has lived in Taplow Tower since 1968, told Britain's Press Association: 'No official came and told us what's going on. I saw it on the TV, so I packed an overnight bag. 'It's unbelievable. I understand that it's for our safety but they can't just ask us to evacuate with such short notice. There's no organization and it's chaos,' she said. Carl McDowell, 31, said he took one look at the inflatable beds at the gym and went back to his Taplow apartment to sleep there overnight. Other residents were distraught that they were ordered to evacuate, but were told to leave their pets behind in buildings that could be dangerous. Fire-safety experts say the Grenfell Tower blaze, which police said was touched off by a fire at a refrigerator, was probably due to a string of failures, not just the cladding, which is widely used to provide insulation and enhance the appearance of buildings. Police said Friday they are considering filing manslaughter charges in the Grenfell disaster and they were conducting a wide-ranging investigation that will look at everything that contributed to it. The Metropolitan Police said cladding attached to Grenfell during a recent renovation failed safety tests conducted by investigators. 'We are looking at every criminal offense from manslaughter onwards,' Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack told reporters. 'We are looking at all health and safety and fire safety offenses, and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.' The government has ordered an immediate examination of the refrigerator model that started the blaze, the Hotpoint model FF175BP refrigerator-freezer. The government also urged building owners, public and private, to submit samples of their cladding. One hotel chain, Premier Inn, has calling in experts to check its buildings. Police say 79 people are either confirmed or presumed dead in the Grenfell blaze, although that number may change, and it will take weeks to find and identify remains. To encourage cooperation with authorities, May said the government won't penalize any Grenfell fire survivors who were in the country illegally. ___ Sheila Norman-Culp, Gregory Katz and Alastair J. Grant contributed to this report.
  • Family and friends are renewing their plea for a driver to come forward in a deadly hit-and-run in South Fulton County. Ruth Bakatukanda, 23, was hit by a driver on I-85 last Saturday. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died days later. Bakatukanda was a junior at Georgia Tech.Dozens gathered for a vigil for her Saturday at her high school alma mater, Peachtree Ridge.Police said there is limited information about what happened when Bakatukanda was hit. The driver is still at large.The family's emotional plea for information as they prepare to say goodbye, on the Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat at 11. 'She will be our angel forever.' Loved ones mourn Ruth Bakatukanda, call for the hit & run driver who killed her to come forward. @ 11 pic.twitter.com/zssJIqeKKT-- Matt Johnson (@MJohnsonWSB) June 25, 2017
  • Three Atlanta police officers rescued a wheelchair-bound woman from rising water on Tuesday. 'I wouldn't call us heroes. We were just doing our duty,” officer Travis Gray told Channel 2 Action News. Body-camera video showed the high water the officers had to wade through to get to the Buckhead home. It was around 4-feet deep and rising from a nearby raging creek after heavy downpours moved through the area. Neighbors told the three officers that a woman in a wheelchair needed help. 'That's what we get called to do and we respond and do it,” Gray said. Before the officers could get to the woman, they had to shut off the power. Once inside, they realized the challenge facing them. 'She was just trapped by the water,” officer Abraham Arias said. “Time was against us.” 'I can't really say (it was) stressful, because we're mainly just thinking about her, trying to get her out,” officer Elton Alexander said. They quickly wrapped the woman in life vests but they knew they couldn't carry her out easily because the water was too deep. 'Lifting her up was not an option,” Arias said. Thinking fast, the officers called in a floatation device from the Sandy Springs Fire Department. As they moved her from the wheelchair and carried her to safety, she got her first look at what was happening outside. 'She was surprised that there was so much water around her home,” Arias said. Once on dry land, the officers say they realized this could have ended much worse. 'At the end of the day, she's our main concern,” Alexander said.
  • Chief lieutenants in the Koch brothers' political network lashed out at the Senate Republican health care bill on Saturday as not conservative enough, becoming a powerful outside critic as GOP leaders try to rally support for their plan among rank-and-file Republicans. Tim Phillips, who leads Americans For Prosperity, the Koch network's political arm, called the Senate's plans for Medicaid 'a slight nip and tuck' of President Barack Obama's health care law, a modest change he described as 'immoral.' 'This Senate bill needs to get better,' Phillips said. 'It has to get better.' Some Republican senators have raised concern about cuts to Medicaid, which provides health care coverage to millions of poor and middle-income Americans. Several more conservative senators have voiced opposition because they feel it does not go far enough in dismantling what they call 'Obamacare.' The comments came on the first day of a three-day private donor retreat at a luxury resort in the Rocky Mountains. Invitations were extended only to donors who promise to give at least $100,000 each year to the various groups backed by the Koch brothers' Freedom Partners — a network of education, policy and political entities that aim to promote small government. 'When I look at where we are at the size and effectiveness of this network, I'm blown away,' billionaire industrialist Charles Koch told hundreds of donors during an outdoor evening reception. His brother, David Koch, looked on from the crowd along with Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona. 'We've got to keep doing it at an accelerated pace,' Charles Koch said. No outside group has been move aggressive over the yearslong push to repeal Obama's health care law than the Kochs', who vowed on Saturday to spend another 10 years fighting to change the health care system if necessary. The Koch network has often displayed a willingness to take on Republicans — including President Donald Trump — when their policies aren't deemed conservative enough. Network spokesman James Davis said the organization would continue to push for changes to the Senate health care bill over the coming week. 'At the end of the day, this bill is not going to fix health care,' Davis declared. The network's wishes are backed by a massive political budget that will be used to take on Republican lawmakers, if necessary, Phillips said. He described the organization's budget for policy and politics heading into the 2018 midterm elections as between $300 million and $400 million. 'We believe we're headed to the high end of that range,' he said. On Friday, Nevada Republican Dean Heller became the fifth GOP senator to declare his opposition to the Senate health care proposal. Echoing the other four, Heller said he opposes the measure 'in this form' but does not rule out backing a version that is changed to his liking. Heller, facing a competitive re-election battle next year, said he was opposing the legislation because of the cuts it would make in Medicaid. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he's willing to alter the measure to attract support, and promised plenty of back-room bargaining as he tries pushing a final package through his chamber next week. Republican leaders have scant margin for error. Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, McConnell can afford to lose just two of the 52 GOP senators and still prevail. At least two of the current opponents, Lee and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, were among 18 elected officials scheduled to attend the Koch retreat. Two more undecideds were also on the guest list: Flake and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse. President Donald Trump continued to push for replacing Obama's health care law, tweeting Saturday: 'I cannot imagine that these very fine Republican Senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken ObamaCare any longer!' The Senate measure resembles legislation the House approved last month that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said would mean 23 million additional uninsured people within a decade and that recent polling shows is viewed favorably by only around 1 in 4 Americans. Charles Koch and his chief lieutenants met privately with Vice President Mike Pence for nearly an hour Friday. Pence, a longtime Koch ally, was in Colorado Springs to address a gathering of religious conservatives. Phillips said it was 'a cordial discussion' about policy, but that neither side asked the other for anything specific. Also Saturday, retired football star Deion Sanders announced plans to partner with the Kochs to help fight poverty in Dallas. The unlikely partnership aims to raise $21 million over the next three years to fund anti-poverty programs in the city where Sanders once played football. The outspoken athlete also defended Koch, who is often demonized by Democrats, as someone simply 'trying to make the world a better place.' 'I'm happy where I am and who I'm with because we share a lot of the same values and goals,' Sanders said when asked if he'd be willing to partner with organizations on the left.
  • The Philippine military on Sunday began observing an eight-hour halt in its air and ground offensive against Islamic militants in southern Marawi city to allow residents, most of them displaced by the monthlong fighting, to celebrate the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the 'humanitarian pause' in military assaults took effect at 6 a.m. Sunday in predominantly Muslim Marawi but will be lifted immediately if the militants open fire or threaten troops and civilians. 'If the enemy starts firing ... anyone can exercise their right to self-defense,' Padilla said in a statement. It's the first planned respite in the massive offensive after a month of daily street battles and military airstrikes that have left at least 280 militants, 69 soldiers and police, and 26 civilians dead. The intense fighting has turned large swaths of the mosque-dotted city, a bastion of Islamic faith in the south of the largely Roman Catholic nation, into a smoldering war zone. About 500 gunmen aligned with the Islamic State group, including several foreigners, stormed the lakeside city of 200,000 people, occupied buildings, burned schools and hoisted IS-style black flags on May 23. Faced by his worst crisis, President Rodrigo Duterte responded by declaring martial law in the south and ordering a massive offensive. Padilla said the cease-fire will be observed by the military 'as a gesture of our strong commitment and respect to the Muslim world,' particularly to Marawi's Muslim residents. The fighting has forced more than 300,000 people to abandon their homes in Marawi and outlying towns and flee to evacuation centers, which rapidly became overcrowded, making it difficult for them to celebrate the Eid el-Fitr holiday.