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Groundhog gone, no Groundhog Day
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FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, N.J. There's no joy in Hunterdon County, New Jersey this Groundhog Day.

That's because there's no groundhog. A four-legged weather prognosticator known as "J.B." has been missing from its Franklin Township burrow for almost a year.

The disappearance of "J.B.," which stands for "Just Because," has led The Eastern Extension of the Slumbering Groundhog Lodge to disband after 15 years of forecasting with marmots.

Members would go to the woods in top hats and white robes every February second and thump on the ground with sticks to get "J.B." to come out. If the groundhog saw its shadow, there would be six more weeks of winter.

Lodge members have been thumping all summer and fall, but "J.B." hasn't surfaced. No one knows what happened to "J.B."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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