Pat Shingleton for Feb. 1, 2013

Punxsutawney, Pa., attracts thousands on Feb. 2. Directly related to a single event, tourism has become one of the leading industries for this community, As noted in a previous column, on Saturday morning, a groundhog will be “extracted” from his sleep, held before the crowd, then asked to make a prediction based upon his shadow. Each year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals contend this action traumatizes Phil and they believe Phil should be replaced with an “animatronics model.” Representatives of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club believe Phil is treated better than the average child, kept in a climate-controlled environment and annually inspected. An animatronics model is similar to the gopher used in the movie “Caddy Shack.”

Fascast: Chilly start, nice.