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. 

A sign marks the entrance to a gender neutral restroom at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press


Georgians are expressing mixed reactions on a judge's order this week to block President Barack Obama's guidelines on which bathrooms transgender students can use in schools.

Elly Yu / WABE

In December, Dora Hernandez was waiting for her son to come home, having prepared him food – eggs and refried beans.

Her son, Jaime Arceno Hernandez, had gone to the immigration court office in Atlanta that morning, like he had done several times since he crossed the border illegally two years ago when he was 16, she said. He, like many unaccompanied minors who were stopped at the border, were given court hearings to try to contest deportation.

As it got later in the day, she kept texting him about why he hadn’t come back yet. Jaime didn’t respond.

AP file

A group of advocacy organizations filed a federal lawsuit against Gwinnett County Monday over district lines and at-large voting, claiming the voting method prevents minority voters from being able to elect candidates of their choosing.  

The suit argues that no minority has ever been elected to the county’s Board of Commissioners and Board of Education. More than half the population in Gwinnett County is black, Latino or Asian-American, according to U.S. Census data.

John Konstantaras / AP Images for Kmart

Georgians will get a break on sales tax this weekend as part of the state's annual tax-free holiday in time for back-to-school shopping.

State officials tout the weekend as way for families to save money – and retail associations see it as a way to get a boost. But analysts say the holiday doesn’t all up to all that much in an increase in total spending.

“All it does is change the timing of the activity,” said Thomas Smith, an economist and finance professor at Emory University’s Goizeuta Business School.   

Lt. Rebecca Rebarich/U.S. Navy via AP

Georgia's coastal military bases are under threat from rising sea levels caused by climate change, according to a new report.

The Union of Concerned Scientists in the analysis found that Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay will experience more flooding and could permanently lose land by the end of the century. The report analyzed 18 military bases along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

Elly Yu / WABE

With controversy over the new Atlanta Braves stadium still looming, Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee was defeated during the primary runoff election Tuesday night.

Lee lost to challenger Mike Boyce, a retired Marine colonel, who had criticized Lee for the way he handled the Braves coming to the county, saying the deal lacked transparency and public input.

Unofficial county results showed Boyce winning with 63.94 percent to Lee’s 36.06 percent.

Elly Yu / WABE

Atlanta police Officer Mike Costello is one of those guys that still loves vinyl records.

“This is precious cargo, right here,” he says, pointing to his record collection. It’s moving day for Costello on a Wednesday earlier this spring, and boxes of items are still scattered around his new house – but he already has his records neatly lined up.

A New Jersey native, Costello picks out a Bruce Springsteen record to play while he and his family unpack.

Youngest delegate 17-year-old Clarissa Rodriguez of Texas and the oldest delegate 93-year-old Ruby Gilliam of Ohio deliver the pledge of Allegiance during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016.
Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo


Georgia's Democrats are in Philadelphia this week for the national convention, where they say the state could be a key battleground in November, though it's not the first time Democrats have made the case that Georgia could turn “purple.”

In 2014, Democrats made the pitch in 2014 when Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, ran for governor, and Michelle Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, ran for an open Senate seat.

Despite their family names, both Democrats lost, getting 45 percent of the vote to the Republicans’ 53 percent.  

Elly Yu / WABE

In the lobby outside Citizens Trust Bank in downtown Atlanta, a steady trickle of regular customers walk in for their errands.

For 28-year-old Shawn McClure, he’s here for the first time to open an account, responding to a social media call around the hashtag #BankBlack. The movement has gone viral in response to recent fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in Louisiana and Minnesota.

“I think this is a big way to start, especially, economically,” McClure said.

McAfee Rd passes over the Buena Vista Lake Dam in Decatur (Dekalb County).
Alison Guillory / WABE

Hundreds of miles of roads in DeKalb County will have to wait on special funds for resurfacing until state lawmakers can change a wording error in state law.

DeKalb County Commissioners voted this week against putting a special penny sales tax on November’s ballot because if the tax was approved, it would trigger an end to some property tax breaks for homeowners because of how one two-page state bill had been written. 

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his budget address at the state Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in Atlanta. Deal spoke Thursday afternoon to lawmakers charged with reviewing his $45 billion spending plan. Deal limited his comments Thursday to criminal
David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal was in Cleveland Tuesday, where he spoke at a panel at the Republican National Convention about criminal justice reform.

Deal spoke alongside the Republican governors of Oklahoma and Kentucky on Georgia’s efforts to overhaul the criminal justice system, and how the issue has become bipartisan in the state. 

Elly Yu / WABE

Following days of protests in Atlanta over recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, Georgia Republicans hosted a forum Wednesday night on police-community relations.

In a cafe in College Park on Wednesday night, state GOP leaders and law enforcement officials met with members of the community to discuss strategies on moving forward after the demonstrations.  

Al Such / WABE

This story is part of "Atlanta Remembers: The 1996 Olympics," WABE's series on the impact of the 1996 Summer Olympics on Atlanta, 20 years later. For more stories, click here. 

It was September 1990, and the International Olympic Committee in Tokyo was about to announce the winning city to host the 100th anniversary of the games. Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch of Spain addressed the crowd.

David Goldman / Associated Press

A fifth night of demonstrations Monday in Atlanta over recent police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota ended with a meeting between organizers, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the city’s police chief.

Hundreds of protesters marched in Buckhead and gathered in front of the governor’s mansion, saying they wouldn’t leave until Police Chief George Turner and Reed came to meet with them.

Charles Krupa / Associated Press

JetBlue Airways is eyeing starting up service out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport starting next year, according to a recent letter the airline sent to the airport.

In a letter to the airport’s interim general manager, the airline said that they “firmly believe that Atlanta can be an attractive addition to JetBlue’s network,” and plans to launch operations in September 2017 if it can get access to two gates that meet the airline’s needs.

M. Spencer Green / associated press file

The Cobb County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider a moratorium on issuing permits for new cemeteries in the county following the recent approval of an almost 13-acre cemetery in West Cobb.

The cemetery – which is being led by the East Cobb Islamic Center – is the first new cemetery the county has had in three decades, said Bob Weatherford, the county’s District 1 commissioner.

Governor Nathan Deal signs a criminal justice reform bill.
Johnny Kauffman / WABE

A new state law that allows for an expansion of criminal justice reforms went into effect this month. It's the fifth set of reforms Georgia has been working on to overhaul the system.

Alison Guillory / WABE

Some business owners near the Atlanta Braves' new stadium in the suburbs say they've invested in improvements and hoped to earn back part of the money by charging fans to use their parking spaces on game days.

But they are now learning about an ordinance passed earlier this year that outlaws property owners within a half-mile of the stadium from charging for parking during games.

Alison Guillory / WABE

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said city authorities “have already started hardening” the exterior areas of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in response to Tuesday’s attack at the Istanbul airport in Turkey that killed 41 people.

“Within moments of the terrorist incident last night in Istanbul, my chief operating officer and my chief of police were in my office within moments,” Reed said.

Reed said he has already ordered and funded to double the city’s SWAT team and to prepare to train 75 long-rifle officers, among other efforts.

Delta Air Lines reached an agreement in principle on Friday with the Air Line Pilots Union, which represents Delta Air Lines pilots. Off-duty pilots picketed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in June calling for higher pay.
Elly Yu / WABE

Hundreds of pilots for Delta Air Lines took turns picketing Friday at Hartsfield-Jackson ​Atlanta International Airport and in airports across the country about contract negotiations.

John Malone, chairman of the Delta pilots union, said the union has been in negotiations with Delta Air Lines for more than 15 months, and he said the picketing was to highlight a sense of "urgency" in negotiations. He said the union has been pushing for higher pilot compensation, and that the company has been highly profitable.  

Evan Vucci / Associated Press

Georgians are reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court 4-4 deadlock on immigration, which leaves in place a lower court decision stopping President Obama’s executive actions.

About 140,000 people in Georgia could have been temporarily shielded from deportation under the president’s program, according to estimates by the Pew Research Center.

Brenna Beech / WABE

Gwinnett County officials agreed Tuesday to renew a controversial partnership for another three years between the county sheriff’s office and federal immigration officials.

The county first started participating in the program, known as 287(g), in 2009. The program allows certain local law enforcement officers to help enforce federal immigration law. Under the program, local officers can check the legal status of people they arrest and detain them for U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Georgia Capitol Building
Al Such / WABE

The state agency responsible for looking into campaign financing and ethics complaints is scheduled to meet next week, but with only three of five member seats filled.  

Two members of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, also known as the State Ethics Commission, resigned last month. The latest appointee for one of those spots declined to serve, saying his current work could create questions about conflict of interest.

The commission has faced several years of political turmoil, with whistle-blower lawsuits and turnover.

The Red Cross blood donation center in midtown Atlanta.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, has heightened the debate on who can donate blood, and some Atlantans say they’d like to see the ban on gay men lifted.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently doesn’t accept donations from men who've had sex with another man within the past year because it says it’s to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV.

Courtesy of Marie

Update on June 23, 11:32 a.m.: The Supreme Court has ruled in a 4-4 tie vote, which leaves in place a lower court decision blocking President Barack Obama's DAPA immigration program.

Marie*, 21, has a lot on her mind.

“I worry. I worry all the time,” she said.

She said she worries that her parents will be deported, leaving her and her two younger sisters behind in their suburban Atlanta home.

“If they leave, it’s just – it would hurt the family,” she said.

Elly Yu / WABE

A rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Fox Theatre brought hundreds of people, mostly protesters, to the streets of Midtown Wednesday.

Police estimated about 400 people were outside throughout the event, according to the Atlanta Police Department's Sgt. Warren Pickard.

The sidewalk across the street from the Fox Theatre was packed with people around noon, some of them carrying signs with slogans like "Dump Trump" and "Love Trumps Hate."

This summer, Atlanta City Council voted to give the Bobby Jones Golf Course to the state in exchange for a parking deck and state property near Underground Atlanta.
Elly Yu / WABE

The Atlanta City Council approved legislation Monday that would allow the city to transfer a Buckhead public golf course to the state in exchange for state property in downtown Atlanta.

The Council voted 12-3 to allow the transfer of Atlanta's Bobby Jones Golf Course to the state.  In turn, the city would get a parking deck and nearby property near Underground Atlanta that city officials have said is necessary to redevelopment of the downtown area.

Opponents said they still had questions about the proposal and how the state would manage the property.

Elly Yu

The Atlanta City Council is set to consider a proposal Monday that would allow the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Buckhead to become state property. In exchange, the city would get property from the state near Underground Atlanta that officials said is needed to help the mall’s redevelopment.

Republicans in Georgia's sixth congressional district vote for who to send to the national convention in Cleveland this July.
Johnny Kauffman / WABE

Republicans from across Georgia will meet in Augusta starting Friday for the two-day state GOP convention.

Party members will choose the rest of the 76 delegates from Georgia that will vote for nominees for president and vice president at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio in July.  

Gilbert Sargent is a jolly, loquacious 74-year-old. For nearly everybody in the small suburb of Versailles, Ky., he goes by "Sarge."

For 25 years, Sarge has been working on and off as a school bus driver. Today he drives for Woodford County Public Schools, a district just outside Lexington. Sarge was meant to drive a school bus, he says, because of his love for children.

He drives bus No. 7.

2:35 p.m. Sarge heads out for his first afternoon pickup at Simmons Elementary School.