Phil’s handler taking blame
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.
Bill Deeley, president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle, said 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 said AP he’s reconsidering the charges in light of the new evidence and may issue a full pardon.
Girl survives canyon crash
Law enforcement officials praised the bravery and tenacity of a 9-year-old girl who crawled out of a mangled SUV at the bottom of a remote Southern California canyon and hiked nearly two miles to find help for her father, who was pinned in the driver’s seat following a rollover crash.
Celia Renteria was sure her father was still alive when she climbed up the rocky embankment early Sunday, as temperatures dipped into the 40s, said California Highway Patrol Officer Gil Hernandez. When officers responded more than an hour and a half later, they found Alejandro Renteria, 35, was dead.
“She was very courageous, being able to walk through the dark, through bushes and very rough terrain to get help for her dad,” Hernandez said.
The 2010 Ford Escape was launched about 200 feet down into the canyon along an isolated stretch of the Sierra Highway in the high desert of northern Los Angeles County at about 1 a.m. Sunday, the CHP said. The vehicle overturned several times.
Central African leader flees
The president of the Central African Republic fled the country for Cameroon after rebels overran the capital of the impoverished nation long wracked by rebellions.
South Africa said Monday that 13 of its soldiers were killed in fighting with rebels, prompting criticism about why its forces had intervened in such a volatile conflict.
Ousted President Francois Bozize sought “‘temporary” refuge on its territory, the Cameroonian government confirmed Monday.
Central African Republic’s new leadership appeared fragmented, with a split emerging in the rebel coalition that seized the capital.
Sentenced in identity theft
An illegal immigrant accused of assuming a Texas teacher’s persona has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Benita Cardona-Gonzalez pleaded guilty in January to possessing fraudulent identification documents in a deal with prosecutors. The Mexican national has been living in Topeka.
For 12 years, Cardona-Gonzalez used Candida Gutierrez’s identity to get a job, credit, a mortgage, food stamps and medical care.