Meet Milltown Mel – New Jersey’s very own weather-predicting groundhog

Winter should be coming to an early end, according to a prediction by New Jersey’s own weather-predicting groundhog, Milltown Mel.
“He’s fun. He is very good as predicting the weather,” says Milltown Mel media director Russell Einbinder.
Pennsylvania may have Punxsutawney Phil who gets a little more media coverage, but Milltown Mel may be a better weather prophet.
“We’re just as good,” says caretaker John McNamara. “We have a better record.”
So just what does Milltown Mel do on days that aren’t Groundhog Day?
“That he gets treated royally is an understatement,” says Einbinder.
“May through November he hangs out in this great groundhog palace where he gets to roam, take the sun,” says McNamara.
Then the weather gets cooler, Mel gets to move indoors. But no matter where he stays, his days consist of waking up, eating peanuts and yogurt treats. When he is not eating, he spends a lot of time hibernating.
“Two weeks prior to Groundhog Day we have to start to wake Mel up,” says McNamara.
But Mel’s handlers agree – the groundhog is living his best life.
“In our next life, we want to come back as Mel,” says Einbinder.
Mel lives on the property of the Bronson and Guthlein Funeral Home. The former owners say that they visited Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in the 1990s and it inspired them to bring the Groundhog Day celebration to New Jersey.