The earthquake that rattled the East Coast Tuesday afternoon, from its Virginia epicenter to Washington and the islands off Massachusetts, was, indeed, rare, geologists say.

But only because of its size; at a magnitude of 5.8, it was the largest temblor to hit Virginia since 1897, when the largest quake on record, a 5.9 quake, struck.

"Earthquakes in central Virginia are not very unusual," says David Spears, Virginia's state geologist. "We have them every few years, but they're usually in the two-to-four magnitude range."

After an earthquake shook the East Coast on Tuesday, many people reached for their cellphones and tried to call loved ones. And many couldn't get through — but it wasn't the earthquake's fault.

No damaged cell towers or wires were reported by the major mobile carriers following the quake, which struck just before 2 p.m. EST and registered a magnitude of 5.8 at its epicenter in Virginia.

So what caused the problems?

When Sudan allowed South Sudan to become an independent nation last month, it hoped this would put an end to years of friction with the United States.

More specifically, Sudan desperately wanted to be removed from Washington's list of state sponsors of terrorism and get out from under the many sanctions that come along with that designation.

But now the U.S. and the United Nations are raising concerns about fighting, and possible atrocities, near the border between Sudan and South Sudan.

If you've got high cholesterol, you know the diet advice: Go easy on foods high in saturated fat like red meat and cheese, and eat lots of fiber and whole grains.

The message still holds up, but researchers say it's time to tweak the message.

Alabama's new immigration law gets its first test in federal court Wednesday.

The Justice Department and civil rights groups are suing to stop what's considered to be the toughest illegal immigration crackdown coming out of the states.

But the law is also being challenged from a Bible Belt institution.

'It Goes Against Tenets Of Our Christian Faith'

At First United Methodist Church in downtown Birmingham, clergy from around the city take turns leading a prayer service called in response to the new immigration law.

The United States wants to give Libya its money back.

The U.S. froze some $30 billion worth of the country's assets after leader Moammar Gadhafi launched a harsh crackdown on his opponents earlier this year. With Gadhafi's rule now near or at its end, U.S. officials and their European counterparts are prepared to quickly unfreeze those funds for a new Libyan leadership.

The first thing East Coasters did when the ground began to shake this afternoon wasn't duck under their desks, but to turn to their smartphones.

The 5.8 magnitude earthquake that was felt from Durham, N.C., to Toronto was documented instantly through social media like Facebook and Twitter.

VIDEO: White House, Capitol As Earthquake Hits

Aug 23, 2011

The AP has just provided this video of the White House and the Capitol as the 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the East Coast. Make sure you watch the roof closely as the security detail reacts to the rumbling:

Update at 4:17 p.m. ET. Earthquake Interrupts DSK Press Conference:

Here's another video of the earthquake interrupting a press conference with Dominique Strauss-Kahn's lawyer:

5.9 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles East Coast

Aug 23, 2011

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake rattled the east coast of the United States, today. The tremor was felt at least as far north as New York and at least as far south as Virginia.

The United States Geological Survey says the earthquake happened at 1:51 p.m. ET with an epicenter nine miles south of Mineral, Virginia and had a depth of 1 km.

Patients Getting Faster Treatment For Heart Attacks

Aug 23, 2011

When it comes to treating heart attacks, doing the right thing doesn't count for much if doctors dawdle.

For a heart attack caused by a sudden blockage of an artery that feeds the pumping muscle, cardiologists agree that busting it up with an inflatable catheter should be done as soon as possible. The goal: treatment within 90 minutes of the patient arriving at the hospital.

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John Clare

Behind The Scenes: TenThing

TenThing (pronounced "ten TING") performed at Purdue University on Thursday , March 30th, and stopped by the WBAA studios. Trombonist Froydis Aslessen , horn player Lena Wik , and leader Tine Thing Helseth spoke with WBAA's John Clare about the tour, recording, and being an all female brass ensemble from Norway.

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Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Ask The Mayor: Crawfordsville's Todd Barton On Who Talks And Who Listens At Meetings

This spring is dotted with important meetings in Crawfordsville – meetings which could help decide the near future of the city. Whether it’s talking with state transportation leaders about how the city fits into the state’s long-term plans or meeting with parents concerned about greater incidence of students taking their own lives, the community has some important decisions to make. This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we talk with Crawfordsville’s Todd Barton about the stakes for a town that’s...

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Turn That Old Car Into Cash

Get rid of your old jalopy, support WBAA and get a tax break! It's a great way to support public radio.

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The first time cardiologist Sonia Tolani performed CPR outside a hospital was in 2009.

She was on the subway in New York City, headed home from work, when she saw a man slump to the ground and stop breathing.

"It was super crowded, it was like rush hour," she remembers. "I just decided we needed to do something, and dragged him out into the center of the subway train [and] I just started doing CPR."

Earlier this winter, photographer Michael Furtman was driving along the North Shore of Lake Superior in search of great gray owls. Several of the giant, elusive birds had flown down from Canada looking for food.

He pulled off on a dirt road where he had seen an owl the night before. One was there, perched in a spruce tree, but so was a pair of videographers filming them.

"I backed off, I was going to just let them have their time with the bird," Furtman says. "And then I saw them run out and put a mouse on the snow."

An accident last month in Tempe, Ariz., involving a self-driving Uber car highlighted some novel new issues regarding fault and liability that experts say will come up more often as autonomous vehicles hit the road.

And that will having an increasing impact on an insurance industry that so far has no road map for how to deal with the new technologies.

Authorities say shortly after a warning was issued Sunday morning, a tornado touched down in Breaux Bridge, La., flipping a mobile home and killing a mother and her 3-year-old daughter.

St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Maj. Ginny Higgins told The Associated Press that 38-year-old Francine Gotch and 3-year-old Nevaeh Alexander were pronounced dead at the scene.

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