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Punxsutawney Phil 'indicted' over spring forecast

CINCINNATI (AP) - Famed groundhog Punxsutawney (puhnk-suh-TAW'-nee) 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 (MOH'-zuhr), 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.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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