Debbie Elliott

After a stint on Capitol Hill, NPR National Correspondent Debbie Elliott is back covering the news in her native South.

Based in Alabama, Elliott's reporting has ranged from hurricanes and oil spills to industry and politics. Her coverage of the BP oil spill in 2010 and its aftermath focus on the human impact of the spill, the government’s response and the region’s recovery. In 2010, she launched a series on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, “The Disappearing Coast,” which examines the history and culture of south Louisiana, the state’s complicated relationship with the oil and gas industry and the oil spill’s lasting impact on a fragile coastline.

Elliott has covered the efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina and the other storms that have hit the coast. She also tracks what the economic downturn means for states and municipalities, and whether the federal stimulus package is helping. In Elliott’s political reporting, she watches vulnerable Congressional seats and follows southern governors who have higher political aspirations.

While based in Washington, D.C., Elliott covered Congress and was part of NPR’s 2008 election team. She co-hosted late election night returns, reported live from the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Denver and broadcast from the grounds of the US Capitol during the Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Elliott is a former weekend host of NPR's All Things Considered. In that role she interviewed a variety of luminaries and world leaders, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She celebrated the 40th Anniversary of “Alice’s Restaurant” with Arlo Guthrie, and mixed it up on the rink with the Baltimore’s Charm City Roller Girls. She profiled the late historian John Hope Franklin and the children's book author Eric Carle.

Since joining NPR in 1995, Elliott has covered the re-opening of Civil Rights-era murder cases, the legal battle over displaying the Ten Commandments in courthouses, the Elian Gonzales custody dispute from Miami, and a number of hurricanes, from Andrew to Katrina. On Election night in 2000, Elliott was stationed in Tallahassee, Fla., and was one of the first national reporters on the scene for the contentious presidential election contest that followed. She has covered landmark smoker lawsuits, the tobacco settlement with states, the latest trends in youth smoking and tobacco-control policy and regulation. She’s been to a Super Bowl, the Summer Olympics and baseball spring training.

Born in Atlanta, Elliott grew up in the Memphis area and graduated from the University of Alabama College of Communication. She’s the former news director of member station WUAL (now Alabama Public Radio).

Elliott lives in south Alabama with her husband and two children.

 

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6:00am

Sun August 14, 2011
Politics

Bachmann Passes Test Of Iowa's Straw Poll

Less than two months into her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman won Saturday's Iowa straw poll. Bachman won what is considered to be a bellwether event and one measure of a presidential candidate's strength. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.

8:22am

Tue August 9, 2011
Living Large: Obesity In America

Tackling Obesity Amid Poverty In A Mississippi County

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:51 am

Valerie Moore's weight and poor eating habits caught up with her two years ago, when she had a stroke at age 26.
Dave Anderson Photography

Part of an ongoing series on obesity in America.

The average life expectancy for men in Holmes County, Miss., is 65 years. That's a full decade shorter than the U.S. average.

So what's killing people there? Researchers say it's no coincidence that Holmes County is also one of Mississippi's poorest, and most obese. Forty-two percent of the county's residents are considered obese.

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12:01am

Tue July 5, 2011
Campaign Vacations

Campaigning In South Carolina? Bring Your Appetite

A small figurine of famed counterman J.C. Stroble is shown at The Beacon.
Dave Anderson

You better bring an appetite if you plan to court votes in South Carolina. And not any namby-pamby taste for sprouts and watercress. We're talking greasy fare, like you might find at The Beacon Drive-In in Spartanburg.

And know what you want when J.C. Stroble, 70, meets you at the counter with his signature "Call it!"

There's no paper or computer here — J.C. takes your order, then hollers instructions to cooks in The Beacon's unique lingo. For instance, a chili-cheeseburger a-plenty means your plate is going to be covered with french fries and onion rings.

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10:11am

Thu June 16, 2011
U.S.

States Take Steps To Curtail Illegal Immigration

A federal crackdown on the use of undocumented immigrant labor is expanding. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told a thousand companies on Wednesday that their hiring records will be inspected.

But increasingly, states are the new battleground in the immigration debate, taking much more stringent steps to curtail illegal immigration. The latest law comes from Alabama, which goes further than other states and is sure to face a legal challenge.

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6:22pm

Wed June 8, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Appeals Court Hears 26-State Challenge To Health Law

Atlanta was today's host city for the latest skirmish in the battle over last year's federal health overhaul, as the measure went before a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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