After hearing there was a vacancy for the Ground Hog Day prognosticator's job, left after the demise of Schnogadahl Sammi III, Roxie the Raccoon may have sensed an opportunity for advancement but instead found herself up against two century's worth of tradition.
Cherry's Sunset Family Restaurant's Rich Cherry and Fran Redline heard about the unfortunate passing of Sammi III and thought it would be fun if there was another animal to come out on Tuesday morning and make a weather prediction.
They called Kathy Heller of Effort, knowing she had a pet raccoon and wondered if Roxie would be up for the new gig. Kathy says she asked Roxie and she agreed.
Kathy got Roxie six years ago when she was a baby and bottle fed her. She is house-trained and lives with Kathy and her husband, Larry, and their family. Since Roxie weighs in at 65 pounds, the present stump located behind Cherry's Sunset Family Restaurant might be a bit small for her if she's asked back in the future.
Her 15 minutes of fame on Monday included an interview by Ryan Leckey of TV WNEP Channel 16 News.
Lee Haas, Grundsow Lodge Nummer Sexa's president, however, is standing with tradition. He said that the groundhog has been the Pennsylvania German's teller of weather for the last 200 years and no raccoon can replace it, no matter how cute she is.