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Woolly bear contest deadline Oct. 31

September 30, 1998

Woolly bears are out and about and collecting them can mean big money for those who find the cutest and cuddliest and the biggest and woolliest.

Entrees for the 16th Annual Woolly Bear Contest held by the Hagers-town Town and Country Almanack must be in by Oct. 31.

Those entering the winning woolly bears will receive $100. Runners-up will get free copies of the 1999 almanac.

Woolly bears can be sent to the almanac office at 1120 Professional Court, second floor, Hagerstown, according to Business Manager Gerald W. Spessard.

Following the judging, the caterpillars will be released into a natural habitat on a farm near Downsville, he said.

The woolly bear contest is open to people of all ages, but is a special favorite of area children, he said.

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Frank Leiter, who oversees the almanac's circulation, judges the woolly bear entries.

Leiter houses the woolly bears for the duration of the contest, judges them and then releases them, he said.

The contest was the idea of a reader, who suggested the almanac compare its computerized forecast to that of mother nature, said Spessard.

Some believe the severity of a coming winter can be predicted based on the woolly bear's coat.

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