Elly Yu | WABE 90.1 FM

Elly Yu

Reporter

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. 

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

Since President Trump's inauguration, federal immigration officials have arrested nearly 2,000 more people in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina than they did during the same period last year.

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According to numbers released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officials arrested 4,246 people from Jan. 20 through April 29 this year. That's compared to to 2,429 arrests during the same time period in 2016 – a nearly 75 percent increase. 

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 / Associated Press

Authorities say a Panamanian man who died of apparent suicide at an immigration detention center in Southwest Georgia had been in solitary confinement for 19 days.

Federal immigration officials said 27-year-old Jean Jimenez-Joseph was found unresponsive in his cell at the Stewart Detention Center with a sheet around his neck early Monday morning. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital in Americus, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Elly Yu / WABE

A young Georgia immigrant is fighting back after federal authorities revoked her protection from deportation.

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Jessica Colotl, a former Kennesaw State student whose case sparked national debates over immigration in 2010, lost her reprieve from deportation this month under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  

Georgia Still Sending Mentally Ill People To Homeless Shelters

May 12, 2017
Peachtree Pine homeless shelter in Atlanta
Allison Guillory / WABE

Mentally ill patients often left Georgia's state psychiatric hospitals with just a bus token and directions to a homeless shelter.

For people with disabilities, these same institutions became places of permanent confinement.

 

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This is the system that Georgia, under pressure from the federal government, pledged seven years ago to radically overhaul. But with a court-enforced deadline fast approaching, the state increasingly seems unlikely to fulfill its promises.

State Rep. Allen Peake speaks on behalf of his bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Georgia for patients with certain illnesses earlier this year.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation Tuesday that would allow more people to be eligible for treatment under Georgia’s medical cannabis program.

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The bill, SB 16, adds six medical conditions to be covered under the program, which allows people with approved conditions to legally possess a certain amount of cannabis oil. Two of the new conditions are autism and Alzheimer's Disease.  

David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia's university system has less than two months to implement a law that will allowing concealed guns on college campuses after Gov. Nathan Deal signed the measure Thursday.

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The law, which goes into effect July 1, will allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons on campus, except for some areas, including student housing facilities, faculty offices and athletic venues.

Evan Nodvin
Elly Yu / WABE

House Republicans in Washington are planning to vote Thursday on a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Pre-existing conditions have ruled the headlines this week, but the bill still includes big changes to Medicaid.

Potential cuts to the Medicaid program have worried people with disabilities and advocates in Georgia, including 38-year-old Evan Nodvin.

Elly Yu / WABE

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a $25 billion state budget this week, which includes slight raises for teachers and other state workers. But child welfare workers will get a salary boost of 19 percent, meant to cut high turnover rates within the agency.  

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David Goldman / Associated Press

As Gov. Nathan Deal considers whether to sign a bill that would legalize guns in some areas on public college campuses, he said Monday he isn’t “satisfied” at local law enforcement efforts to help protect students around campuses.

“I view the issue as not just one of on the campus, as much as it is off the campus,” Deal said.  

He said he’s concerned about students who are going to and from campus, like to parking lots, apartments and other areas.

Haven Daley / Associated Press

It’s unclear whether some metro Atlanta counties would have faced funding cuts under President Donald Trump’s executive order to withhold funding from so-called “sanctuary cities.”

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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. 

COURTESY OF REDIT USER FISCALREPORTS

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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ELLY YU / WABE

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
WABE File

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.

ELLY YU / WABE

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 / Associated Press

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. 

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