Shadow’s absence forecasts early spring
The handlers of Punxsutawney Phil said the furry rodent failed to see his shadow at dawn, meaning he predicted an early spring. “Is this current warm weather more than a trend? … There is no shadow to be cast, an early spring is my forecast,” read Jeff Lundy of the Inner Circle of The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. A German legend has it that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another six weeks.
Four Klamath dams will be removed
Federal officials and the states of California and Oregon will press forward with plans to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River, seeking to resolve years of dispute over the watershed despite resistance from Congress, Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration said. The announcement came after a complex series of agreements around the Klamath, which flows from Oregon to the Pacific Ocean in Northern California, fell short in Congress.
Earthquake gives Eastport a shake
A small earthquake served as a wake-up call for sleeping residents in Eastport, the easternmost city in the U.S. The magnitude 3.3 earthquake was recorded in the waters between Maine and Canada, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Small earthquakes aren’t unusual in Maine. The largest one recorded in the state was a magnitude 5.1 in 1904.
Draft women, generals tell Congress
The top Army and Marine Corps generals told a Senate hearing that it will take up to three years to fully integrate women into all combat jobs, adding that women also should have to register for the draft. The military leaders vowed that they will not lower standards to bring women into the more grueling jobs. But they warned that inherent physical differences and different injury rates between men and women will affect integration.
North Korea plans rocket launch
North Korea is planning to send a satellite rocket into space this month, the United Nations said less than a month after the reclusive regime’s controversial nuclear test. North Korea plans to launch an “Earth observation satellite” between Feb. 8 and 25, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said, noting that three U.N. agencies that handle maritime, telecommunication and civil aviation issues had been notified.
Smokers, people who litter face hefty fines
Smokers now face fines of up to $600 if they light up in a car with a child or pregnant woman or if they toss a cigarette butt on the street after new health and environmental laws took effect. Smoking had been banned in offices, restaurants and other public places. A separate law against tossing cigarette butts also punishes spitting out gum or tossing receipts on the street.