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LILBURN, GEORGIA, Feb. 2, 2005 /SUNRISE - General Beau Lee, Ph.D., Georgia’s Official Weather Prognosticator and internationally recognized furry forecaster, braved a dismal drizzle and nearly freezing breezes to exit his newly-renovated Weathering Heights Mansion just after sunrise at The Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn, Georgia, a 24-acre animal preserve.

Beau was awakened by the traditional ringing of the antique farm bell, a duty professionally performed in this, the 25th year of Beau's annual prediction, by 11-year-old Christopher Allen. Christopher, who was selected for the honor via an Internet trivia contest, was joined by a committed crowd of bleary-eyed, faithful supporters to rouse the groundhog from his slumber.

After conferring with the huddled crowd, Game Ranch CEO Col. Art Rilling proclaimed Beau’s prediction: “PACK YOUR PARKAS AND BREAK OUT THE LAWNMOWER...! NO SHADOW THIS YEAR-- IT'S AN EARLY SPRING!"

Beau's Silver Celebration of Groundhog Day brought accolades from far and wide. In addition to recognition by five successive Georgia Governors, Beau was proclaimed "Gwinnett's Official Weather Prognosticator," an honor bestowed upon him this morning by County Commissioner Mike Beaudreau. Beau's 96% accuracy rating was also lauded by U.S. Congressman John Linder, who noted in a letter that the National Weather Service had twice commended Beau's uncanny ability.

Honors roll in

Beau in the News

Breaking News!

Beau has a girlfriend! Shortly after Beau stepped outside his Weathering Heights mansion to search for his shadow, the nose of a second groundhog was seen peaking from the front door. According to Art Rilling, Beau and "Dixie" are getting along well.

Photos: Top right, the crowd gathers in anticipation of Beau's appearance. Middle left, Game Ranch CEO Art Rilling greets VIP bellringer Christopher Allen. Lower right, Gwinnett County Commissioner Mike Beaudreau announces Beau's prediction. Bottom, Dixie sneaks a peak out the front door.

About the Game Ranch: The Yellow River Game Ranch, Georgia’s oldest animal preserve, is now celebrating its 43rd year of introducing people-friendly wildlife to children and adults. The Game Ranch is open seven days a week, 9:30 am to 6:00 pm.

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