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. 

Elly Yu

The city of Clarkston has been home to thousands of refugees in recent decades, from countries including Bhutan, Somalia, and Burma. And though many are far from where they’re from, a small community radio station, called Sagal Radio, has been bringing a sense of home through its low-powered AM station. The station has been broadcasting for more than 15 years, but was recently dealt with a setback. Reporter Elly Yu has this story. 

Dan Raby / WABE

If you’re near the center of Georgia Tech’s campus on a quiet day, you may hear the sound of thousands of bees.  They're found at the home of the Georgia Tech Urban Honey Bee project. Researchers are trying to figure out how bees are able to live in cities.  And as urban gardens continue to pop up around Atlanta, Georgia Tech students want to learn if these city gardens are just as good for bees as gardens found in the country. Reporter Elly Yu has this story.

Elly Yu / WABE

The Georgia Department of Corrections executed death-row inmate Marcus Wellons late Tuesday night. He was the first person in the nation to be put to death after the botched execution in Oklahoma nearly two months ago.

Wellons’ execution was originally scheduled for 7:00 p.m., but his lawyers filed last-minute appeals, including one with the U.S. Supreme Court. All the final appeals were denied.

That process delayed the execution for more than 3 hours.  The 59-year old Wellons was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m., according to a state official and media witnesses.

Officials: Marcus Wellons Executed

Jun 18, 2014

BULLETIN 12:15 a.m. Wednesday, June 18:  Elly Yu, on the scene at the Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia, reports that officials said Marcus A. Wellons was executed at 10:41 p.m. and died at 11:56 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18.  

Michell Eloy / WABE

Businessman David Perdue and Congressman Jack Kingston Tuesday clenched the top two spots in the crowded Republican primary for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat.

The two now head to a runoff to represent the party in the November general election.

Perdue topped the six other candidates in the packed GOP Senate primary with about 30 percent of the vote, while Kingston narrowly edged out former Secretary of State and Tea Party favorite Karen Handel for the final spot.

Elly Yu / for WABE

A group of Georgia State University students held a silent protest during Saturday’s commencement ceremony against the planned changes to the student-run radio station, WRAS 88.5 FM. Wearing WRAS logos on their graduation caps, the students hoped to send a last-minute message to the administration.

Last week, the university announced a two-year deal with Georgia Public Broadcasting, which would allow GPB to air its own programming on 88.5 F.M. during the day, while students would air their own 24-hour programming online.

Elly Yu/for WABE

This week on City Cafe, we’re looking back at some of the best stories we brought you this year, including this one originally broadcast July 12, 2013.

John Mari last month met Daphne, a black and white pointer mix, who was  squirming with excitement.

“Me and her going to make a really good couple," Mari says. "She’s perfect for me. She’s going to keep me straight."

Mari has been in and out of jail for the last two years on drug possession and theft charges.

Elly Yu/for WABE

In an era of iPads and video games, some kids are turning to a game that usually invokes an image of older players. The game is bridge – as in the card game – and the game is trying to attract younger participants.

A group of seniors are playing bridge at a Norcross community bridge center. I try to be quiet. You’re not supposed to talk while playing.

This is pretty much what bridge is like.  The average bridge player is 67.

But there’s a movement to get kids to play.

PatchAttack via Flickr / flickr.com/photos/patchattack/4223353097/

The state of Florida plans to sue Georgia over water usage.

Florida Governor Rick Scott says Georgia’s water consumption is disrupting the flow of water to the Apalachicola Bay. 

Florida Gov. Scott says this is the only way forward after decades of failed negotiations with Georgia.

Joined by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Scott made the announcement following a tour of Apalachicola Bay. He says Georgia’s water consumption is hurting the ecosystem in the area.

Fulton County, GA

Fulton County is asking a local nonprofit for money back from a grant the county awarded.

Fulton says YouthPride -- an organization that serves lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth -- failed to provide the services outlined in the grant.

YouthPride was given $40,000 in fiscal year 2011- 2012. The money was for counselor and support staff salaries, and other administrative costs. 

Elly Yu/for WABE

President Obama has named Atlanta civil rights leader Rev. C.T. Vivian among those to receive a presidential Medal of Freedom award. It’s the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Fifty years ago this month, Martin Luther King Jr. led the march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. By his side was his good friend Rev. C.T. Vivian.

During the time, Vivian participated in Freedom Rides and organized sits-ins across the country. He’s also founded a number of civil rights organizations, including Vision and the National Anti-Klan Network.

myJon via Flickr. / http://www.flickr.com/photos/winmac/92847877/

 Georgia’s Latino voter population continues to grow. That’s according to a study by the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.

The report finds the state now has nearly 184,000 Hispanic voters. That’s 26 percent more than GALEO's 2008 study. 

GALEO based its findings from statewide voter data after the 2012 election.

Barnaby Wasson via Flickr / http://www.flickr.com/photos/barnabywasson/279913090/

 Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning is partnering with Emory University and a local health organization to train specialists in detecting autism early in children.

Intervention before the age of 3 has the greatest impact on autism, but the average age of diagnosis happens between 4 ½ and 5 ½ years old.

That’s why the Marcus Autism Center along with Emory University is training people working with young children. 

Jennifer Skidmore

The federal government has denied a request by the Georgia Aquarium to import 18 beluga whales from Russia that were captured from the wild.

The aquarium made the request more than a year ago on behalf of a group of marine parks across the U.S.

But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) denied the request citing it didn’t meet all the requirements under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Michael Payne is the agency’s Chief of Permits and Conservation Division.

Atlanta Police Department

Police have made an arrest in relation to a string of silver and jewelry robberies in Northwest Atlanta. 

Last week, Atlanta police recovered more than $100,000 worth of silver in a downtown Atlanta apartment.

Lt. Rod Woody says police arrested Farhana Sultan, who was charged with theft by receiving, but says the investigation is ongoing.

"We believe that we may have curbed this, hopefully with this arrest, and what we hope would be further arrests to come on that," Woody says. 

Elly Yu/for WABE

A group of students touring the U.S. advocating for immigration reform stopped in Norcross Friday. 

They call themselves the Dream Riders. 

They’re Asian-American students who’ve been granted deferred action – and are sharing personal stories on what it feels like to be undocumented.

Kevin Lee is a student from Los Angeles.

“It means living in the shadows, never speaking about your status, never telling anyone about a piece, about a part of who you are. It means being in a fear of deportation constantly -- that never leaves the back of your mind," Lee says. 

Elly Yu/for WABE

The most common type of abuse to senior citizens is not physical or mental -- it’s financial. That’s according to the Cobb County Elder Abuse Task Force.

The group, which is one of few in the state, met Thursday to tackle the issue. 

The Task Force includes officials from the Cobb County police department, state agencies and regional hospitals such as Wellstar.

During the meeting, it was revealed that some caretakers will just take money from senior benefits – and not provide any care.

Michelle Wirth/WABE News

Douglas County is planning to change an ordinance to allow firearms in its public parks.

The County says it’s making the change to comply with state law.

Tom Worthan is Douglas County’s Commission Chairman. He’s a member of the NRA, but disagrees with having guns in parks.

“I support the second amendment. I just think we’re going to extremes on certain issues within the  firearms, and I just want to make sure that our children are safe in our parks."

Google Earth

Residents are trying to preserve an Atlanta school Martin Luther King Jr. once attended. 

As of Monday evening, more than 300 people have signed a petition to keep and renovate David T. Howard School in the city’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.     

Atlanta school parent Priscilla Borders started the petition, urging the Atlanta Board of Education to use the historic school to solve overcrowding issues -- and not to demolish it. 

Catherine Mullins / WABE

The U.S. Senate is set to vote on a bipartisan compromise Wednesday to hold down student loan rates for the time being. 

But the rates could fluctuate, and some local students are concerned about increasing costs.

“Right now, I owe about $12,000 in student loans and that’s not even covering the upcoming year,” says Brandon Black.

Black is a junior majoring in finance at Georgia State University and has been frustrated about the talks in Congress.

Eugene Chin Yu
Eugene Yu for Senate

The race for the open U.S. Senate seat in Georgia’s primary on the Republican side is getting a bit more crowded.

The first Korean-American candidate has entered the race for the seat currently held by U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss. 

Eugene Chin Yu is a former business owner and most recently served as president of the Federation of Korean Associations.

Yu, new to the political scene, is running alongside long-time politicians. Rich Thompson is his campaign manager.

City of Atlanta


The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin has put Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law under close scrutiny.

Here in Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal says he has no plans to change Georgia's law. 

Georgia’s "stand your ground" law passed in 2006.

The law says a person may use deadly force when threatened and “has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground.”

In the wake of the Zimmerman verdict, Governor Nathan Deal says he sees nothing wrong with Georgia’s law.

Elly Yu/for WABE

A Fulton County judge granted Warren Lee Hill, Jr.'s injunction Thursday afternoon, upholding a stay of execution. 

Chief Deputy Judge Gail Tusan ruled that the Georgia death row inmate can challenge the constitutionality of a state law regarding Georgia's execution drug. 

After hearing arguments from the state and Hill’s attornies, Judge Tusan said Hill, in her opinion, had met the burden to challenge the law.

Catherine Mullins

Atlanta’s first two-way bike lane is now under construction near Piedmont Park. The lanes on 10th street will eventually connect cyclists from the Beltline to Peachtree Street in Midtown.

Riding a red commuter bike, Cecilia Trode, a senior at Georgia State, was on her way to class. She says she usually avoids the larger, more-trafficked roads.

“It’s just more fun to find smaller side street ways, so you don’t have to deal with angry drivers. People going fast, people passing you with less than 3 feet – it’s not very comfortable, "Trode says.

Elly Yu/for WABE

After weeks of delay due to the weather, SkyView Atlanta officially started spinning today. 

Across from Centennial Olympic Park, the line for the SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel wrapped around the block. 

“Folks don’t know it but today’s ribbon cutting was three years in the making," says Mayor Kasim Reed. "And the bottom line is that things are going to only get better in downtown Atlanta.”

The Ferris wheel will takes riders 20 stories above the city. 

While many were anxious to ride, some spectators weren’t as excited about the opening.

Elly Yu/for WABE

Hundreds of people marched in downtown Atlanta Monday night in protest of George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. 


 The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials plans to sue the city of Gainesville. The group says the city’s at-large voting system violates section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

At-large voting allows all Gainesville residents to vote for each city representative instead of voting by district.  But GALEO’s Executive Director Jerry Gonzalez says at-large voting discriminates against the city’s growing Latino population.

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in voting practices or procedures. 

Elly Yu/for WABE

The new director of the Atlanta VA Medical Center  says changes are being made after federal audits showed poor patient care. 

Leslie Wiggins was appointed to head the center in May after the audits linked three patient deaths in the past two years to mismanagement. A fourth death was later reported.

Wiggins says the hospital has since made many improvements.

Rose Scott/WABE

The historic Sweet Auburn Curb Market near downtown Atlanta was the latest victim in a recent trend of smash and grab robberies.

Police say suspects crashed a stolen van through the market’s glass entrance and stole an ATM early Tuesday morning.

The entrance of the market was taped off, but otherwise, the market was bustling as usual during lunch.

Gerald Boyd, the security manager of the market, said he got a call from the alarm company at 5 a.m. Monday morning and rushed to the market. He says police were already on the scene. 

Katjusa Cisar via flickr / http://www.flickr.com/photos/katjusac/5052594922/

Thousands of Georgians may have flocked to the beaches over the Fourth of July weekend, but a new report shows Southern beaches along the Gulf Coast didn’t fare so well on pollution tests last year.  

In 2012, Southern beaches came second when it came to bacterial contamination, according the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The environmental advocacy group collects government data about ocean water safety, then issues a report each year.