Elly Yu | WABE 90.1 FM

Elly Yu


Elly Yu is a reporter at WABE, where she first got her start in public radio as an graduate student intern in 2013. Since then, she’s reported for WNYC, NPR, and Marketplace among others.  In 2014, Elly was awarded with an immigration reporting fellowship from the Institute for Justice and Journalism.

Elly holds a bachelor’s in international relations from the University of Southern California, and a master’s in journalism from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where she co-hosted a podcast. 

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga.,  July 23, 2013.
Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

The federal government is giving states $500 million to combat the nation's opioid abuse epidemic. 

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U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made the announcement Wednesday at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in downtown Atlanta, where thousands gathered. The funds will come from the 21st Century Cures Act, he said, which passed Congress last year and was signed by President Barack Obama. 


Two lanes of Interstate 20 westbound between Candler and Gresham roads have reopened after part of the highway buckled Monday morning.

State transportation officials say they're hoping to get all lanes of I-20 fixed by Tuesday at noon.

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Natalie Dale, a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Transportation, said in a news conference Monday afternoon that the agency was assessing the stability of lanes near the buckling in preparation for the reopening of some lanes.

Charles Reed / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP

Advocates in Atlanta's Somali community are speaking out against recent immigration arrests reported in the Atlanta area, including in Clarkston, Georgia.

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About 10 Somalis were arrested this month, according to Omar Shekhey, president of the Somali American Community Center in Clarkston. He said some have been in the United States for decades and said he fears it will be dangerous to deport them to Somalia.

Gwinnett County Police Department / WABE

The Gwinnett County Police Department has fired an officer who was captured in a widely-shared video of kicking a man in the head during a traffic stop on Wednesday in Lawrenceville.  

The officer, Robert McDonald, was hired by the department in 2013, and graduated from the police academy in 2014, officials said. 

Ian Palmer

Team officials with the Atlanta Braves aren’t planning any drastic changes to their transportation plan in the aftermath of the Interstate 85 bridge collapse.

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The team’s first regular home game at the new stadium in Cobb County is Friday against the San Diego Padres.

Elly Yu / WABE

On Sunday afternoon, several Syrian families come to the Clarkston Community Center, bringing food that they’ve prepared for an event that’s aimed to connect refugees with young U.S. veterans.

Children pass out hand-drawn cards, as about a dozen veterans and their families sit with Syrian families they’ve just met and eat the feast that’s been prepared.

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It's a quiet morning inside Mama's restaurant on Piedmont Road, just one block away from where the Interstate 85 bridge fell. Over the weekend, the road under the bridge was closed off, and that's hurt business for the restaurant, said Jaime Zelaya, Mama's morning manager. 

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"It's usually really bombing here because all the business, you know, after-hours people that goes to the clubs, they come over here and eat because this is a 24-hours restaurant," he said. 

Georgia sick leave laws, Georgia SB 201

The Georgia legislature sent a bill to Thursday night to the Governor’s desk that would broaden the definition of domestic terrorism and setting mandatory sentencing requirements for the crime.

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campus carry
Jaime Henry-White, File / Associated Press

The Georgia State Senate voted Tuesday to let licensed gun owners carry concealed weapons on most places on public college campuses.

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The state Senate voted 32-22 on the bill, which needs final agreement by the state House before being sent to the Governor for his signature.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal speaks during a press conference to announce he has vetoed legislation allowing clergy to refuse performing gay marriage and protecting people who refuse to attend the ceremonies Monday, March 28, 2016, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

As the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote Thursday on the healthcare bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, leaders in Georgia have expressed mixed views about the plan. 

So far, many of Georgia's Republican members in the U.S. House appear to support the bill. But Wednesday, a spokesperson for Congressman Jody Hice, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, said Hice was opposed to the measure.  

Alison Guillory / WABE

The director of Georgia's state agency for child welfare services said changes to a bill approved by a Senate panel Thursday evening could put millions of dollars in federal funding at risk.  

Republican senators approved a change to a 100-page bill intended to modernize the state’s adoption laws. The change would allow private foster and adoption agencies to refuse services based on their “mission as evidence by its written policy, statement or other document.”  

Elly Yu / WABE

In late January, Hassan, his wife and his two young daughters were ready to start a new life across the globe in Atlanta. They’d been living in Jordan for about four years after Hassan and his wife fled Syria. Hassan didn't want to use his real name because of family members still living in Syria. 

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Elly YU / WABE

Some of the state's top Republican leaders said they have concerns about the Republican health care bill moving through Congress, and in particular a funding plan for Medicaid.

Under the Congressional Republican plan, states after 2020 would get a capped amount of federal funding based on how much a state spends per person on Medicaid. The Medicaid program insures low-income people and those with disabilities.


On a recent afternoon, the emergency room at Irwin County Hospital is empty except for one patient. He’s propped up on a bed and strapped to a machine that monitors his heart rate. Nurse Jason Baxley works the shift.  

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“Our ER is not very large. It’s only four exam rooms, a cardiac room and trauma room,” Baxley said.

an employee of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga., waiting for the front gate to be opened so she can enter.
Kate Brumback / AP Photo, File

A lawyer for a Gwinnett County woman say she was held in immigration detention for a month even though she has claims to U.S. citizenship.

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David Goldman / Associated Press

Older Georgians would get hit with higher costs under the new Republican health care plan, especially those in rural areas, according to some health care analysts.

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Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can charge older Americans only three times as much as they would younger Americans. Under the new plan, companies could charge five times as much.

campus carry
Jaime Henry-White, File / Associated Press

The Georgia House of Representatives approved a bill Friday that would allow people with weapons licenses to carry concealed guns on public college campuses.

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The measure passed 108-63 after more than an hour of debate on the day of a key deadline, called Crossover Day. The bill now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, speaks before Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, rear, signs an executive order requiring state agencies to start preparations now for the enactment of the state's medical marijuana bill Friday, March 27, 2015, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

The Georgia House of Representatives approved a measure Tuesday that would allow more medical conditions to be eligible for treatment by medical cannabis oil.

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The bill now moves to the state Senate, which recently passed its own cannabis oil measure that would add autism to the list of eligible conditions, but would also reduce the THC level of cannabis oil from 5 percent to 3 percent.

Jason Getz / Associated Press

A Georgia House committee approved a measure Monday that would require the phrase “ineligible voter” printed on licenses issued to people who don’t have U.S. citizenship.  

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The bill originally required the term "noncitizen,” but the bill’s sponsor state Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, said he reconsidered after the legislation faced backlash.

Elly Yu / WABE

A Georgia House committee approved a bill Monday that would allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons on public college campuses.

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"This is changing the dynamic, and it's allowing people and affording the opportunity to defend themselves," said Rep. Mandi Ballinger, R-Canton, sponsor of the bill. 

Elly Yu / WABE

About a hundred people rallied outside a constituent event with Sen. David Perdue’s staff at the Henry County Farm Bureau in McDonough on Thursday.

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Many demanded a face-to-face meeting with Perdue, some holding signs that read, “You work for us” or “Where are you?”

Perdue’s staff say they hold mobile office hours routinely around the state to help constituents with issues like veterans’ affairs and social security.

John Bazemore / WABE

The Georgia state House approved a bill that would strip private colleges of state funding if they adopt "sanctuary" policies and don't cooperate with federal immigration officials.

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Lawmakers voted 112-17 on the bill, which now moves to the state Senate for consideration. 

Georgia Department of Driver Services

Georgia lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the label “noncitizen” to be printed on driver’s licenses issued to people without U.S. citizenship, including those with legal permanent residency.

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The Georgia Department of Driver Services currently prints the phrase “limited-term” on licenses for people who are not U.S. citizens, but who are in the country lawfully.

Aileen Burger loads an oral syringe with cannabis-infused oil used as medicine for her 4-year-old daughter Elizabeth, who suffers from severe epilepsy.
Brennan Linsley / AP Photo, File

A Georgia House panel heard testimony on Tuesday on a bill that would allow more conditions to be eligible for treatment by medical cannabis oil. 

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Current state law, which was passed two years ago, allows Georgians to use the oil if they have one of a limited number of conditions, like cancer and sickle cell disease. The bill would expand that list by eight conditions, including autism and PTSD.  

State Rep. Allen Peake is sponsoring the measure.

Flowers along a trail at Panola Mountain State Park
Al Such / WABE

Warmer weather is expected to continue in Georgia this week and climatologists say it's part of a pattern of unusually warm temperatures much of the state has experienced this winter. 

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Pam Knox, an agricultural climatologist at the University of Georgia, said temperatures have been above average as a whole this winter, and that it's likely to continue. 

Georgia State Capitol gold dome.
Al Such / WABE

The Georgia House of Representatives on Friday approved a $25 billion state budget, which includes salary raises for thousands of state employees.

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Toby Talbot, File / Associated Press

Georgia lawmakers are considering a bill that would further regulate opioid treatment centers in the state.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, would put into place new requirements for those wanting to open up centers in Georgia. The centers offer medical-assisted treatment and counseling to help treat patients with addictions to heroin and other opioids.

Bryan Cox / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Associated Press

Recent arrests of unauthorized immigrants have sparked fear in some immigrant communities after federal officials arrested hundreds of people last week in several states, including Georgia.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said it arrested 87 people in Georgia, as well as 84 people in North Carolina and 19 in South Carolina.

Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

A Georgia lawmaker has introduced a bill that would create up to 100 nonprofit health centers to serve low-income patients across the state.  

State Rep. Geoff Duncan of Cumming said the clinics, known as federally-qualified health centers, would be eligible to receive federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid. There are already about 200 centers of this kind in the state, he said.

Duncan said more clinics could help support the state's rural hospitals and give people closer access to health care.


Atlanta-area immigration attorneys and advocates say federal immigration officials have recently increased the number of immigration arrests.

Sarah Owings, chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Georgia Alabama Chapter, said arrests occurred along Buford Highway Thursday and Friday. She said arrests have been reported in other parts of the state as well, including Savannah and Cordele. 

“It’s really all over the state,” Owings said. “It’s amazing how quickly it’s happening."