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Georgia Aquarium says beluga whale is pregnant


ATLANTA (AP) - Officials at the Georgia Aquarium say a 20-year-old beluga whale, Maris, is expecting a calf in the spring.

Dr. Greg Bossart, the aquarium's chief veterinary officer, says Maris is healthy and the calf appears to be developing normally.

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Maris gave birth to her first calf in May 2012, but that calf had multiple medical problems and died less than a week after her birth. The aquarium says first-time pregnancies in belugas and other marine mammals are often unsuccessful, both in captivity and in the wild.

Protesters block traffic on Downtown Connector


ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Members of the group Black Lives Matter, protesting police brutality across the nation, but focusing on the situation in Ferguson, Mo., following the August death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, led a protest early Wednesday evening in Atlanta, marching and blocking traffic along the Downtown Connector (I-75/85) and Freedom Parkway for a brief time.

Various factions of the group have led protest marches in a number of cities across the nation, and have raised protest banners at events that have included Sunday's St. Louis Rams football game.

Southerners On New Ground field organizer Mary Hooks says she and other grassroots organizers helped plan the protest as part of a national week of resistance to mass incarceration and police brutality. The demonstration also used the Twitter hashtag #blacklivesmatter.

Fulton County offers 2 early voting weekends

Fulton County offers 2 early voting weekends

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County registered voters will have the opportunity to vote on Saturday and Sunday for the next two weekends.

During the weekend of Oct. 18 -19, seven Fulton County locations will be open for early voting.

During the weekend of Oct. 25 – 26, 19 Fulton County locations will be open for early voting.

Fulton County is offering more weekend voting opportunities than any other Georgia County. Residents are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the early voting period, including weekend voting.

“We hope that our expanded dates and locations for early voting will encourage more Fulton County registered voters to cast their ballots,” said Richard L. Barron, Director of the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections. "Voting early reduces lines on Election Day and is more convenient for voters."

Fulton County Early Voting Locations

Monday, October 13 - Friday, October 31

Weekend roadwork: The I-285 debacle continues

Weekend roadwork: The I-285 debacle continues

(WXIA) -- It's going to be another messy weekend on metro Atlanta's highways.

The Georgia Department of Transportation encourages drivers to stay off Interstates 20 and 285 if they can.

As always, all work is weather permitting.

Scheduled construction projects include:

Bartow County
* 1 northbound lane of I-75 will be closed between two miles north of Glade Road and one mile south of Allatoona Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday for bridge maintenance.
* 1 northbound lane of I-75 will be closed between two miles north of Glade Road and one mile south of Allatoona Road from 7 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday for bridge maintenance.

Cobb County
* 1 lane of the I-75 southbound exit ramp to I-285 west will be closed from 9 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday for work on the Northwest Corridor Express Lanes project.

Weekend roadwork: Lots of projects on the schedule

Weekend roadwork: Lots of projects on the schedule

(WXIA) -- A major project on a heavily traveled interchange is bound to cause some headaches for Atlanta-area drivers this weekend.

It's just one of several scheduled construction sessions throughout the area. All work is weather permitting.

Crews will be hard at work on the Kennedy Interchange in Cobb County much of the weekend. The Kennedy Interchange is where Interstate 75 meets Interstate 285 in the Cumberland area.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said sign installation will require multiple lane closures on the Outer Loop of I-285 just before the exit ramp to Cobb Parkway and I-75 north. Two right lanes will close at 9 a.m. Saturday; that will expand to three lanes between 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. Outer Loop traffic will also be paced in the area beginning at around 2 a.m. Sunday.

Other weekend road projects include:

APD adopts transgender interaction policies

APD adopts transgender interaction policies

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Police Department has established new policies for officer interaction with people who are transgender or intersex.

Police Chief George Turner said the policies will go into effect at the end of November, which gives officers time to be trained on them.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called the new policies "another step forward in our efforts to celebrate diversity."

"I commend the Atlanta Police Department for their commitment to equal and respectful treatment of Atlanta's transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming individuals, citizens and visitors," Reed said.

RELATED | Guide to Atlanta Pride

Some highlights of the new guidelines include:

* Treating transgender/intersex people in a manner appropriate to the gender with which they identify

Three injured in shooting near downtown Marriott

Three injured in shooting near downtown Marriott

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Multiple people were injured during a shooting near the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Peachtree Center Avenue NE in downtown Atlanta.

Three people were taken to the hospital.There has been no word on their injuries or their condition.

Atlanta police say six people in a white passenger van were driving along Edgewood Avenue near Ebenezer Baptist Church when someone shot at their van. Police don't know who shot at the van or why.

The driver of the van drove to the Marriott. Crews at the hotel counted multiple bullet holes on the exterior of the van.

Police are working two crime scenes. The van remains at the hotel where police are looking for evidence. There are also officers along Edgewood Ave. & Auburn Ave. where shell casings and shattered glass was found.