Northern Illinois Shaken

By Unusual Earthquake

CHICAGO -- A rare earthquake struck northern Illinois early Monday, rattling windows and awakening residents across several states.

No injuries or major damage was reported from the quake, which happened about 1:11 a.m. Central time.

Brian Lassige, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado, said the quake was magnitude 4.5, and its epicenter was about eight miles northwest of Ottawa in northern Illinois, close to the village of Troy Grove.

Lassige said earthquakes in northern Illinois are rare, but temblors were recorded in 1881, 1912 and 1972. The rural area is about 70 miles west of Chicago.

Reports of shaking came from at least as far east as Valparaiso, Ind., and as far west as parts of Iowa, and from Wisconsin in the north to the St. Louis area in the south. It was also felt in southwestern Michigan.

Separately, a magnitude 6.7 quake woke residents of the Alaska panhandle at 1:50 a.m. local time.

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* ATLANTA -- Georgia's parole board denied clemency for death row inmate Robert Karl Hicks, 47, who argued that the prosecutor improperly suggested at trial that the Ten Commandments do not recognize insanity as a defense for murder. Barring successful last-minute appeals, Hicks will be put to death Wednesday for killing Toni Strickland Rivers, 25, in 1985.

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-- From News Services