Arts & Entertainment

Milltown Mel Again Forecasts Any Early Spring

Milltown Mel and Staten Island Chuck agree. Spring is on the horizon. Credits: Tapinto Staff

MILLTOWN, NJ - Last February, Milltown Mel predicted there would be an early spring. In March, the area had a surprise blizzard. This morning, on a chilly, overcast Groundhog Day, Milltown Mel II made his third prediction, calling for another early spring. Mel agreed with his groundhog counterpart over in Staten Island. Chuck also did not see his shadow, forecasting an early spring. However, the big guy, Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter. Thus is the accuracy of Groundhog Day. According to data from the Stormfax Almanac, Phi has only been correct 39 percent of the time and has been making predictions since 1887. His handlers, feel differently, of course. Reportedly saying that Phil is always 100 percent correct.

Early spring or a longer winter didn't really matter to the crowd that gathered outside American Legion Post 25 today and neither did the freezing temperatures. Folks came out before the sun even kissed the sky for the event. The Milltown Wranglers were on hand, welcoming residents to what has become a borough tradition be giving out noise makers and t-shirts with the message, "It's a Milltown thing." Coffee and doughnuts were available to warm everyone up after Mel had his big moment.

This year marked Milltown's tenth Groundhog Day celebration. Jerry and Cathy Guthlein held the first Groundhog Day festivities at the Bronson and Guthlein Funeral Home. The event quickly grew in scope and had to be moved to the American Legion on JFK Drive to accommodate all the Groundhog Day revelers.

Sign Up for E-News

The Guthlein's were huge fans of Bill Murray's cult classic, "Groundhog Day," taking a trip out to Punxsutawney to experience the time-honored tradition first hand. They were moved to create a similar atmosphere in Milltown every February 2. The original Milltown Mel passed quietly in his sleep in the summer of 2015 after seven Groundhog Days. His pal, Milltown Mel II is now carrying on the tradition.

Milltown Wrangler, John McNamara removed Milltown Mel from the large stump that proudly bears his name. McNamara purchased the Bronson and Guthlein Funeral Home in October of 2017. As the crowd chanted, "Wake up Mel" in the background, the time came for McNamara's and Mel's big moment.

To the delight of the crowd, an early spring is apparently on the horizon. Now, it's time for Mel to get back to sleep.

Groundhogs are one of the animal species that hibernates during the cold weather months. After the first frost, groundhogs typically settle down for their long winter's nap. Some groundhogs checkout for five months while others snooze for two to three, depending on how cold the winter weather is.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Polystyrene Pollution

July 3, 2018

Dear Editor,

Last month the article,  A Girl Scout Workshop that Builds Young Environmental Specialists reminded readers that it's important to educate people on issues in our environment. Our waterways are under threat from harmful plastic pollution. Americans throw away an estimated 70 million plastic foam cups and about one-third end up in waterways like rivers, lakes ...

East Brunswick's Ethan Reiss Saves the History of Who We Are

July 15, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - To some people, lists of names and pictures of locations just create a jumble of information and a confusing mass of facts.  To Ethan Reiss, a historian from East Brunswick who is working to keep facts alive, these bits and pieces come together to form a picture of who we are based on who we were in the past.

Reiss, the administrator of the popular "You Know ...


Hillsborough, NJ - Gina (Francoisa) Salamon, 90, died Monday, July 9, 2018 at Bridgeway Care Center ...
Read more
Piscataway – Michael John Doherty, 73, passed away Saturday June 16, 2018 in Las Vegas, ...
Read more

New Outlook Pioneers hosts 18th Music in the Park at Milt Campbell Field

July 15, 2018

Plainfield, NJ - On Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 5PM Sponsored by: The City of Plainfield (including the Cultural & Heritage and Human Relations Commissions), Mayor Adrian Mapp and the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders; along with CO-SPONSORS: New Outlook Pioneers, Mr. Plainfield (Robert Graham),TD+Partners -A Community Impact Development Firm, and Re/Max Select, Sandra L.

Cruising with Autism on the Seas

This is a event that includes the partnership and collaboration of Cruise Planners, Autism Friendly Escapes and WallynZavy's Autistic Kids Can Do!. WallynZavy's Autistic Kids Can Do is a non-profit 5013c, organization that supports families that have autistic and special needs children through advocacy, social play dates, resources, workshops, community support, seminars and family ...

RU Ready for Rutgers Football? Tickets on Sale Next Week

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - There's a lot of promotions planned this fall as part of the Rutgers football season.

Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12, with seven home games. There's matchups against Big Ten East opponents Michigan and Penn State, and a first-time cross divisional meeting with Northwestern.

If football is not your thing, there's plenty ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, July 17, 8:00 AM

Sivantos - Bloodmobile, Piscataway

Piscataway Emergency Blood Drive - Pair of ...

Giving Back Health & Wellness


Tue, July 17, 5:00 PM

South Plainfield

Holy Savior Open House July 17th



Tue, July 17, 5:00 PM

South Plainfield

Holy Savior Open House July 17th


Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sing Four to Feature Brahms

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, July 21, 10:00 AM

NJ Convention and Exposition Center, Edison

82nd Annual Garden State Cat Show & Expo

Giving Back Other

Got Mint? Bayonne Police Charge Man with Stealing $1,000 in Toothpaste

July 16, 2018

BAYONNE, NJ – The case of a near lifetime supply of toothpaste that was taken from a Bayonne pharmacy has been solved.

Marcos Baez, 40, of Isabella Avenue, was charged with four counts of shoplifting after police identified him as the person responsible for stealing more than $1,000 worth of toothpaste, according to a police release.

Police were called to the Rite Aid at 12-16 North ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

July 15, 2018

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

Extra Time

It was close to 70 minutes into the match and I had to go to the bathroom.  Badly.

As fans watching the World Cup know too well, bathroom breaks are a serious dilemma, especially for those who don’t have a TV in the loo.  This biological necessity is exasperated by beer, which during World Cup matches also fuels a strong propensity to throw chairs and instigate riots.