UPDATE: Ohio Prosecutor Drops Charge Against PA Groundhog

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The groundhog is off the hook.

An Ohio prosecutor who light-heartedly filed a criminal indictment against the famous Pennsylvania groundhog who fraudulently "predicted" an early spring says he has dismissed the charge. Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser says Punxsutawney Phil has a defense with teeth in it since the animal's handler is taking the blame.

The Groundhog Day celebration about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh attracts worldwide attention each year. That stretched well beyond Feb. 2 when Gmoser last week issued an indictment as winter-like weather continued across much of the nation, even as spring began.

Gmoser says the tongue-in-cheek indictment generated a lot of attention, but he has a lot of "really serious work" to do and wanted to end things on a positive note.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil might want to go back into hibernation.

Authorities in still-frigid Ohio have issued an "indictment" of the furry rodent, who predicted an early spring when he didn't see his shadow after emerging from his western Pennsylvania lair on Feb. 2.

Mike Gmoser, the prosecutor in southwestern Ohio's Butler County, says Punxsutawney Phil "did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that spring would come early."

The penalty? Gmoser says — tongue firmly in cheek — is death.

Winter has been dragging on in the Buckeye State and surrounding areas, with daily high temperatures this week hovering in the mid-30s.

A storm moving into the region Sunday could bring between 4 and 8 inches of snow.


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