Punxsutawney Phil gets reprieve from electric chair
Plucky groundhog used to predict weather proved innocent
The death penalty will not be brought against furry forecaster Punxsutawney Phil for predicting an early spring. One of Phil's handlers, a top-hatted groundhog enthusiast named Bill Deeley, took the fall.
The death penalty has been called off for Punxsutawney Phil, who reportedly incorrectly predicted an early spring. His handler now says that he mistook the rodent's forecast.
Millions were disappointed after winter endured well beyond six weeks, as countless snow-shoveling Americans can attest.
Deeley now says it was "All my fault." Deeley volunteered to a local television reporter over the weekend that he had not been drinking. "Mis-interpretation by me. I just read him wrong."
Prosecutor Michael T. Gmoser of Butler County, Ohio, told NBC News that it was time to exonerate the groundhog because the handler "stepped up to the burrow and took responsibility.
"I always appreciate the acceptance of responsibility in all the criminal cases we handle here," he said from his office in the city of Hamilton, where it was snowing an hour earlier.
"We do a lot of serious work here," he added, almost defensively. "This has been a little lighthearted fun."
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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