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Pa. groundhog's handler taking blame for forecast

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - An Ohio prosecutor who has light-heartedly filed charges against the famous Pennsylvania groundhog who fraudulently "predicted" an early spring says he may consider a pardon now that the animal's handler is taking the blame.

That's right, Bill Deeley, president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle says the animal rightly predicted six more weeks of winter but Deeley tells The Associated Press he mistakenly announced an early spring because he failed to correctly interpret Phil's "groundhog-ese."

Butler County, Ohio prosecutor, Mike Gmoser (MOH'-ser) tells the AP he's reconsidering the charges in light of the new evidence and may issue a full pardon.

The Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, a borough about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, attracts worldwide attention each year.

Deeley says the prosecutor's indictment of Phil has generated more publicity than a $10,000 ad campaign.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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