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In brief: Magnitude 6.2 quake an aftershock

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude 6.2 earthquake off the west coast of Canada on Monday night is an aftershock of the magnitude 7.7 quake that struck Saturday night.

A geophysicist said the agency had no immediate reports that the latest quake caused any significant damage or was widely felt.

The National Weather Service West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said the Monday night quake was not expected to generate a tsunami.

USGS geophysicist Susan Hoover, in Golden, Colo., said an even larger aftershock – a magnitude 6.3 quake – was recorded on Sunday in the same general area off British Columbia’s Queen Charlotte Islands.

Since the 7.7 quake, Hoover said nearly 80 quakes registering magnitude 4.0 or higher have been recorded in the area.

Hitchhiker admits shooting hoax

BILLINGS – A hitchhiker from West Virginia pleaded guilty Monday to criminal charges in Montana for falsely claiming to be the victim of a drive-by shooting, leading to another man being jailed for an offense he did not commit.

Under a plea deal with prosecutors, Ray Dolin, of Julian, W.Va., would receive a six-month suspended jail sentence and have to pay more than $2,000 in fines and $5,583 in restitution to the Valley County Sheriff’s Office.

Dolin pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence, making a false report and obstructing a peace officer during an appearance before state District Judge John McKeon in Valley County.

Sentencing was set for January 22.

The struggling photographer has admitted to shooting himself in the arm on June 9 while hitchhiking near Glasgow in northeastern Montana. He initially claimed it was a drive-by shooting and stuck with that story even when a Washington state man was arrested and jailed.

After his tale unraveled and Dolin was confronted by investigators, he claimed he had been trying to kill himself by shooting himself in the heart but missed.

Authorities alleged a more calculated motive: They said Dolin shot himself in an attempt to gain publicity for a photographic memoir on kindness that he claimed to be working on.