- A Whopper of an honor: Local company named top Burger King franchisee (11/15/17)3
- Southern Illinois farmer's grapevines destroyed by dicamba; four years of work lost (10/29/17)2
- Aldi store reopens after renovations (11/14/17)3
- Decisions coming soon on steel mill, smelter in New Madrid (11/17/17)1
- Residents view pedestrian bridge as eyesore; city manager says it's designed to rust (11/13/17)8
- State audit: Bollinger County tax levies violate state law; county commission disagrees (11/17/17)3
- Cape native co-directs Thanksgiving-related indie film, 'Drinksgiving' (11/17/17)
- The Tungsten Groove to release first album featuring original songs (11/17/17)
- Son of Westboro Baptist Church patriarch discusses abuse, faith (11/15/17)6
- Federal jury finds surgeon Fonn guilty of kickback scheme (11/10/17)4
PETA proposes robotic groundhog for annual Pennsylvania festival
PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. -- An animal rights group wants organizers of Pennsylvania's Groundhog Day festival to replace Punxsutawney Phil with a robotic stand-in.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said it's unfair to keep the animal in captivity and subject him to the huge crowds and bright lights that accompany tens of thousands of revelers each Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney, a tiny borough about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. PETA is suggesting the use of an animatronic model.
But William Deeley, president of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, said the animal is "being treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania." The groundhog is kept in a climate-controlled environment and is inspected annually by the state Department of Agriculture.
Deeley said PETA isn't interested in Phil from Feb. 2 on and is looking for publicity.