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Groundhog Phil lives to see another shadow

Punxsutawney Phil

Feb. 2, 2007: Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-predicting groundhog, is held up by his handlers in Punxsutawney, Pa. (AP)

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.

FLASHBACK: Phil faces death penalty over erroneous predictions

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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