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. 

Elly Yu / WABE

On an early Saturday morning, Nadia Mwangachuchu headed over to the Tucker Recreation Center to cast her early ballot. She brought her two toddler daughters along to see their mother vote for the first time in her life.

Mwangachuchu, 30, came to the Atlanta area as a refugee more than a decade ago, but became a citizen two years ago. She said she’s been waiting for years to cast her first ever ballot.

“It’s a good experience,” she said. “I’m loving it – because I get to vote here for the first time in my life – voted for anything.”

Students and faculty members at Kennesaw State University join hands in protest Tuesday as former state Attorney General Sam Olens began his first say as university president.
Elly Yu / WABE

About a hundred students and faculty members rallied at Kennesaw State University Tuesday as former state Attorney General Sam Olens began his first day as the school's president.

The University System of Georgia's Board of Regents named Olens as president last month without conducting a national search.

Marni Roberts, a drawing and painting major at KSU, said she's concerned about how the decision could affect the university's reputation.

A Google Fiber van in Atlanta
Courtesy of Google Fiber

Google Fiber announced this week it's halting operations in cities where the company was in talks to bring in services, but will continue services in cities where it's already launched, like in Atlanta. 

Despite continued service, Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research said the changes could still affect operations here. 

David Goldman / Associated Press

The key lawmaker behind a plan on November's ballot to overhaul the state's judicial watchdog agency says he hopes people will approve it even if they don't know much about it.

Amendment 3 on November’s ballot would allow the state Legislature to recreate the Judicial Qualifications Commission – the agency that investigates ethics and misconduct complaints against state judges.

Atlanta Police Department
Alison Guillory / WABE

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal appointed a new task force on Tuesday to examine how law enforcement officers are trained in the state. The task force is part of an overall law enforcement reform package the governor announced earlier this year.

Elly Yu / WABE

Gwinnett County’s been highlighted this election season for its changing demographics. On Jimmy Carter Boulevard, one of the main roads in Gwinnett County, there are stores representing places from around the world. At Global Mall, a shopping center off Interstate 85, store owners sell items like saris and jewelry, and the food court bustles with people grabbing lunch.

For Sale Sign in front of a Marietta home
Al Such / WABE

The deadline to apply for a new state program that helps with underwater mortgages is Tuesday.

The program, called Underground Georgia, aims to help homeowners who owe more on their houses than their homes are worth, said Carmen Chubb, deputy commissioner for housing at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Eligible homeowners can get up to $50,000 towards their principal mortgage balances, she said.

Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press

Hospitals on Georgia's coast are now starting to get patients back who had been evacuated due to Hurricane Matthew.

Southeast Georgia Health System had to move about 200 patients from its hospitals in Brunswick and St. Mary's to facilities across the state, said Jacqueline Weder, a spokesperson for the system.

She said 245 additional patients were also moved from the system’s two senior care facilities. She said staff worked around the clock to move patients safely.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Among several ballot measures next month, Georgia voters will be asked whether they want to change the agency that polices judges in the state, known as the Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC). If passed, the constitutional amendment would allow state lawmakers to recreate the commission.

Supporters say the changes are needed because the watchdog agency needs more oversight, but critics say the move would strip the agency of its political independence and effectiveness.

What Does the JQC Do?

Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press

On Thursday morning, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal ordered mandatory evacuations for part of six coastal counties ahead of Hurricane Matthew. 

Al Such / WABE

The Georgia Supreme Court Monday dismissed the city of Atlanta’s attempt to annex valuable property in part of unincorporated Fulton County.

In a unanimous decision, the court threw out the case, saying Atlanta didn’t pass a local annexation ordinance and that the court couldn’t rule on proposed legislation.

AP Photo/Dave Martin, File

Georgia's craft brewers spoke before a House committee Thursday, saying a change in the state's beer laws would help their bottom line.  

In 2015, the General Assembly passed a law that would allow breweries to distribute beer directly to customers as part of a tour package. The take-home beers would come as “souvenirs” and capped at 72 ounces, or about a six-pack, but breweries cannot sell directly on premises.

Elly Yu / WABE

In the wake of recent police shootings across the country, Fulton County’s police chief said he’s considering the creation of special units to help officers in the field respond to people with mental illnesses.

At a meeting of Fulton County mayors Wednesday, Chief Gary Stiles cited the recent fatal shooting this week of a black man in California, when police were called to investigate a report about a mentally unstable man.  

David Goldman / Associated Press

State lawmakers have launched an effort to help funnel money to Georgia’s rural hospitals through a state tax credit program.

Protestors moved toward the Martin Luther King National Historic Site in Atlanta during a protest on September 23, 2016.
Al Such / WABE

On Friday evening, hundreds rallied at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, before marching to Ebenezer Baptist Church and then to the Atlanta Police Department's headquarters, where they occupied space peacefully until midnight. 

Attorney Mawuli Davis and Georgia NAACP President Francys Johnson led the crowd Friday evening, marching through the streets of downtown Atlanta. 

Davis said people didn't have to look far when it came to police shootings, calling out names of those who had been killed by law enforcement in the Atlanta area.

Georgia House of Representatives livestream (screenshot by Elly Yu)

A member of Georgia's judicial watchdog agency defended the agency’s work in front of a state House committee Thursday, while agreeing the agency needs changes.

State lawmakers this year passed legislation that would allow voters to decide in November whether or not to overhaul the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which handles ethics complaints against judges.

AP file

Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson introduced legislation in Congress this week in an effort to boost protection for voting systems following recent federal warnings about cybersecurity threats.

“The threat to our voting process is clear and present,” Johnson said.  He cited the recent hackings at the Democratic National Committee and attempts into voter systems in other states.

Elly Yu / WABE

Former House Speaker and Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich called Georgia a “key battleground” at a town hall for the Trump campaign Monday at Kennesaw State University.  

Gingrich spoke to a crowd of more than 100 supporters, some who were wearing newly-minted shirts with the word “deplorables.” Groups of students in between classes also stood towards the back of the room to hear Gingrich speak.

Elly Yu / WABE

A Fulton County judge ruled on Thursday that Atlanta's recent annexations of several neighborhoods in unincorporated South Fulton are not valid.

Atlanta annexed five neighborhoods in the area earlier this year – neighborhoods that could become part of a different city: the city of South Fulton. In November, voters in the only unincorporated part left of Fulton County will decide whether or not to incorporate.

In his decision Thursday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Alford Dempsey ruled the city’s annexation process was “untimely” and didn’t follow state law.

Michael Conroy / Associated Press

ITT Technical Institute is closing its four campuses in the metro Atlanta area, along with dozens of others across the country, becoming the latest for-profit school to shut down after federal scrutiny.

Katie Peace said she graduated from ITT Technical Institute’s Kennesaw campus with a degree in science and criminal justice four years ago. This week, she, like many students and alumni, heard the news that the college was shutting down.

“How could I have wasted two years in a school that now is nothing?” she said.

Peace said she’s worried about her credentials.

Charles Krupa / Associated Press

JetBlue will start flying daily flights from Atlanta to Boston in March, the company said.

JetBlue's second take at Atlanta's airport shows a new strategy, said Seth Kaplan, an analyst with Airline Weekly. The airline flew out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport more than a decade ago, but left after stiff competition from Delta.

"Look, it's never easy competing against Delta," Kaplan said. "Delta's a fierce competitor. But this time JetBlue is doing it in a much smarter way than it did last time."

OpenRoadPR/Pixabay

State lawmakers on Thursday will begin a series of hearings to look into how the state’s judicial watchdog agency operates.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission investigates complaints of misconduct against state judges, but some state lawmakers have raised questions about the agency’s transparency.

“It serves as an autonomous body,” said state Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs), who chairs the study committee about the commission. “No one has any say-so over their actions and the way they conduct their business.”

Robert Ray / Associated Press

  

The Bibb County Sheriff's Office in Macon will auction off confiscated guns for the first time this Saturday. The auction stems from a state law that was changed four years ago, said Bibb County Sheriff David Davis.

Before 2012, unclaimed weapons and other firearms no longer needed as evidence could be destroyed to be used as scrap metal, Davis said.

Alison Guillory / WABE

Georgia lawmakers are grappling with how to solve traffic congestion in the metro Atlanta area, as they study regional transit options throughout this summer and fall.

Both Georgia’s House and Senate have study committees to look at the issue and create recommendations by the end of this year ahead of the legislative session that starts in January.  

The aim is to help come up with a governance model that help could bring together the region’s various transit systems and local governments, said State Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta).

Elly Yu / WABE

The family of a man who died after being repeatedly stunned with Tasers by Coweta County Sheriff's deputies last year is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate his death.

Video footage of the incident obtained by the New York Times show deputies struggling with Sherman, who was handcuffed, stunning him multiple times before they realized he wasn’t breathing.

Elly Yu / WABE

Georgia's demographics have been changing. Since the 1990s, the state's Latino population has grown nearly tenfold to nearing a million people. 

One indicator of those demographics changing is the candidacy of Brenda Lopez.  The immigration attorney is set to become the first Latina to enter the Georgia Legislature. Lopez, a Democrat, won May's primary elections and is running unopposed in November for House District 99. Her hope, she says, is to help connect Georgia’s growing immigrant communities to the people in power in her state. 

 In this Sept. 29, 2014 file photo, Secretary of State Brian Kemp announces a March 6, 2012 date, as Georgia's 2012 presidential primary at a news conference in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia's top election official says the state is prepared if hackers target its election systems in light of evidence of hacking in two other states.

"It's been in our radar, it will continue to be on our radar,” said Secretary of State Brian Kemp Tuesday. “We're working hard everyday to make sure that those type of things don't happen in Georgia. And then if for some reason they were to happen, we have plans to deal with that.”

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence will be in Georgia Monday, holding two rallies and a fundraiser for presidential nominee Donald Trump.  

The Indiana governor will be in Perry for a public rally at 2 p.m., and in Marietta for another public rally at the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum at the Cobb Galleria Center at 7:30 p.m. He’ll also be at a private fundraiser in the Atlanta area in between at 5 p.m., according to a spokesperson with Georgia Republican Party.  

Dario Lopez-Mills / Associated Press

Lawyers for a group of people suing DeKalb County over its old court system are seeking class-action status, saying the court could have potentially mishandled thousands of other traffic cases.  

The lawsuit, which includes 17 plaintiffs, alleges DeKalb County’s Recorders Court reported mistakes about people’s traffic cases to the state Department of Driver Services. That led, the suit says, to the wrongful suspension of people’s driver’s licenses or the failure to reinstate a license.

 Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga.
Kate Brumback / Associated Press

Immigrants detained in Georgia’s immigration detention centers were deported at a higher percentage rate in the last fiscal year and were less likely to receive bond than immigrants in detention centers nationwide, according to an analysis by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The organization said it used data obtained from U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement that looked at data in fiscal year 2015 from October 2014 to July 2015.

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