Ellen Eldridge

Digital News Producer

Ellen Eldridge is a digital producer for GPB. She has previously worked as a breaking news reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The topics she most often writes about as a freelance reporter are mental health issues, crime and public safety. Ellen graduated Kennesaw State University magna cum laude in 2015 with a degree in communication focused on journalism. When not at work, Ellen lives with her husband, daughter and son in Woodstock.

National Hurricane Center

Hurricane season is in full swing with three named storms in the Atlantic. Hurricane Florence is currently churning toward the East Coast as a Category 4 storm.

Sue Lanigan Fajardo

This year, more than 1,400 people in Georgia are expected to die from drug overdoses. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many will be in their 20s. They will still be thought of as kids by their grieving parents.

Some of the victims of addiction were represented Tuesday night in a room on the University of North Georgia's campus in Cumming. While the maximum occupancy was only 268 people, nearly 350 souls were honored by candles in teacups.

Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

The media has a big role to play in suicide prevention, officials said Thursday.

Especially when it comes to at-risk children as young as 9 years old, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Trebor Randle said Thursday to a group of healthcare journalists.

Suicide is a serious public health issue and the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 39, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Project South

Project South and Georgia Detention Watch released a report on Monday detailing immigrant treatment conditions at the Atlanta City Detention Center.

Azadeh Shahshahani, the legal and advocacy director with Project South, said the 105-page report shows why Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms should make her temporary order not to house immigrants at the jail permanent.

"We are calling on the city of Atlanta to stop working with ICE and put an end to detention of immigrants whom as we document in this report are being treated inhumanely at the facility," Shahshahani said.


Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Nearly 1,000 people have been ticketed for handling a cellphone while driving since the Hands-Free Georgia Law took effect July 1, officials say.

According to the Georgia State Patrol, 961 drivers were caught violating the law during its first month. The law makes it illegal to handle a cellphone with any part of the body, GPB News previously reported.

Edward Ahmed Mitchell and Aisha Hussain
Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

In April, two Johns Creek police officers shot a woman they said had a knife.  Shukri Said’s family recently watched dashcam footage of the shooting that killed her.

Said’s family says she suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but had not taken her medicine in months. 

Aisha Hussain said she called 911 on Saturday April 28 because she knew she couldn’t help Shukri. Her 36-year-old sister was hearing voices and was determined to leave the house they shared in Johns Creek. She never imagined Shukri would be killed, with five bullets from two police officers.

Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

The police lip synch challenge began in Texas earlier this year and it's quickly making its way through the nation. Sheriff and police departments post videos singing along to songs and then challenge others to do the same.

The Canton Police Department is one of the latest to step up.


GPB News

A Chinese company is bringing jobs to North Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday.

Complete Flooring Supply Corporation is investing $30 million and providing 100 jobs in Gordon County.


Georgia Department of Labor

Georgia's unemployment rate dropped to four point one percent in June, officials said Thursday.

The state Department of Labor said that's the lowest rate since 2001, with nearly 5 million residents working. That's a record.

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Georgia's strong economy is attracting new residents.

GBI

More people in the metro Atlanta area abuse opioids than anywhere else in the state, officials said Monday.

Cobb, Fulton, Gwinnett and DeKalb counties are in first through fourth place for the second year in a row, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

FDA.gov

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 100 people in 33 states, including Georgia have been infected with salmonella after eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks.

Kellogg’s launched an investigation in June after learning Honey Smacks customers got sick, the company told GPB News. A company official said they are working to find out the cause and "ensure it never happens again."


DeKalb County Schools

DeKalb County is looking to fill nearly 300 teaching positions ahead of the first day of school on Aug. 6 — but recruiting teachers is also an issue beyond the Atlanta area.


Stephen Fowler, GPB News

Protesters of the Trump administration's policy of detaining families and separating children from parents who enter the Unites States illegally are gathering Saturday in cities across Georgia.

Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Brunswick, Dalton, Lawrenceville, Lumpkin, Savannah and Valdosta will be represented, according to the official website.


Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday announced an additional $100 million for bus rapid transit to pay for four new bus-only interchanges along a 16-mile stretch of Ga. 400.


The Department of Health and Human Services kicked off a campaign Monday to help prevent opioid addiction through education.

Nationwide, Georgia is near the top — just out of the top 10 at 11th place — in the number of overdose deaths.


Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

A group of activists and organized civil rights leaders gathered Friday at Waffle House headquarters in Norcross to protest what they call the wrongful arrests of black patrons earlier this year.

Chikesia Clemons was arrested at a restaurant in Alabama and Anthony Wall was arrested in North Carolina. Both believe the police were only called because of the color of their skin.


Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

The effects of the first named storm of 2018 claimed lives before the official start of hurricane season, but leaders with Georgia Power, the National Weather Service and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency have been investing in technology, planning and preparing.

Despite advances in technology, the best resource for damage assessment after a storm is "boots on the ground," Georgia Power's David Maske said at a hurricane summit last week.


Grant Blankenship / GPB

It’s summertime and peak moving season. But it’s also prime time for consumer fraud, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Last year the Peach State was in the top 10 for moving fraud, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Raymond Martinez.


Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

The centuries old art of busking — or performing in public places for tips — is currently encouraged in Decatur.

The city is trying out a program that makes it easy to get a permit and take art and music to the streets.


U.S. Geological Survey

Emergency crews are working to get some White County roads reopened after severe flooding earlier this week, according to the National Weather Service.

Storms dropped more than 14 inches in the last week and more is on the way Friday through the weekend. Forecasters warn of a "hazardous weather outlook," with the possibility of damaging winds and hail in the afternoon.

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

11:20 p.m.: Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp will face each other in a July runoff for the Republican spot for governor following tonight’s primary election. The winner takes on Democrat Stacey Abrams,  who could become the first woman, and the first African American, to ever hold the top political seat in Georgia.  Cagle led the pack of GOP candidates from start to finish as results came in, while Kemp easily held off Hunter Hill for second place.  Abrams, meanwhile, stormed out to a huge lead over her opponent, Stacey Evans, and never looked back. 

HEPVU

Baby Boomers are six times more likely to have hepatitis C than any other age group, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Viral hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer in the United States and hepatitis C is the most common type of viral hepatitis.


Less than a week before the Republican gubernatorial primary, one topic reigned supreme in the Atlanta Press Club Loudermilk-Young debate: immigration, and how to stop unauthorized people from entering the country.

Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

With the help of a nonprofit group, Fulton County families are fighting custody battles where “parental alienation syndrome,” a form of emotional abuse inflicted on the child or children of divorcing parents by one parent, is used to deny one parent custody.

Robyn Rowles lost full custody to an ex-husband accused of alcoholism and abusing their children. Her crime in the custody battle was parental alienation, according to the court custody evaluator and appointed guardian ad litem.

Cindy Hill / GPB News

A National Guard C-130 transport plane that crashed and killed nine people on Wednesday was being retired, officials said Thursday.

The flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, Vice Wing Commander for the 165th Air Lift Wing of the Air National Guard Col. Pete Boone said.

Savannah Professional Firefighters Association

UPDATE:  The Associated Press, citing officials in the Puerto Rican government, says nine people were  aboard the plane. A local official in Savannah who spoke to the AP says there are apparently no survivors.

An official with the 165th Airlift Wing's Public Affairs office in Savannah would not confirm the number of casualties, but referred to an earlier Facebook post from that office saying five people were aboard.

EARLIER:

Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

The GBI is investigating after a 36-year-old woman was shot and killed by police in Johns Creek Saturday morning.

Lawyers for the family of Shukri Said said the incident is an example of tragic irony because May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Attorney Ibrahim Awad said he spoke on Saturday with both the sisters of Said and the GBI. His firm is also investigating the shooting to determine what training the officers on the scene had in handling a mental health crisis and whether the woman's civil rights were violated.

A 36-year-old woman was shot and killed by police in Johns Creek Saturday morning, officials said.

Police said the family of Shukri Said called 911 after being threatened and a preliminary investigation by the GBI showed Said refused to drop a knife at the intersection of Abbotts Bridge and Sweet Creek roads, GBI spokesman Bahan Rich said in a news release.

Police tried using a Taser and non-lethal weapons, according to the GBI, but when Said wouldn’t drop a knife, two officers fired their service weapons.

Said died Saturday at Emory Johns Creek Hospital.

Polk County Sheriff's Office

A northwest Georgia man was convicted on Thursday of 214 counts of felony dog fighting and misdemeanor animal cruelty, after officials last August rescued 107 pit bull type dogs from deplorable conditions in a training camp.

All the dogs were tethered to trees or chained to axles driven into the ground on Polk County property, District Attorney Jack Browning told GPB News.

“The dogs were constantly about 2 feet from each other, which kept them in a constant state of agitation,” he said.

Nationwide, officials are examining the role of syringe exchange programs in the opioid epidemic. While many residents react with a not-in-my-backyard attitude, data supports the success of these programs and legislators are scrambling to catch up with the research.

Pages