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Punxsutawney Phil ‘indicted’ by prosecutor for chilly spring


** FILE ** In this Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, photo, Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-predicting groundhog, stands on the shoulder of one of his handlers, John Griffiths, while looking at his other handler, Ben Hughes, in Punxsutawney, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

A prosecutor in Ohio has filed a criminal “indictment” against Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who makes an annual appearance to predict the start of spring.

This year, Phil predicted spring and warmer weather would arrive early. He lied, said the prosecutor. Just this past Wednesday, the first day of spring, the Northeast saw a foot of snow. And two days into spring, it’s colder in parts of the nation than it was in winter.

“I woke up this morning, and the wind was blowing, the snow was flying, the temperatures were failing, and I said, ‘Punxsutawney, you let us down,’ ” said Michael Gmoser, in a CNN report.

So Mr. Gmoser issued an indictment, accusing the groundhog of purposely misleading the nation, CNN says.

Even Phil’s handlers are joining the joke: They’ve mounted a vigorous defense of the groundhog, CNN says.

“If you remember two weeks ago on a Sunday, it was probably 60, 65 degrees,” handler John Griffiths said, in the CNN report. “So, I mean, that basically counts as an early spring.”

About the Author

Cheryl K. Chumley

Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at

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