- - Thursday, December 20, 2012

PENNSYLVANIA

PHILADELPHIA — More than nine months after they were born joined at the lower chest and abdomen, twin girls made their public debut Thursday at the hospital where they were separated.

Allison June and Amelia Lee Tucker, clad in animal-striped shirts and flowered headbands, were introduced during a news conference at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Both girls still have nasal tubes but appeared rosy-cheeked and alert as they were held by their parents, Shellie and Greg Tucker, of Adams, N.Y., about 300 miles north of Philadelphia near Lake Ontario.

Allison, described by doctors and her parents as the smaller but feistier twin, was discharged from the hospital Monday. Her sister Amelia, who’s larger and more reserved, needs a little more recovery time and will remain in the hospital into the new year.

“We totally expect them to have full, independent lives,” said pediatric surgeon Dr. Holly Hedrick, who led a 40-member medical team in the complex seven-hour operation on Nov. 7.

CALIFORNIA

Former Marine leaves post as school guard

HUGHSON — A former Marine applauded for voluntarily showing up to guard a central California elementary school apparently misrepresented his service history.

Craig Pusley showed up for a second day of guard duty Thursday at Hughson Elementary School but departed midmorning as questions arose about his military background.

On Wednesday, Mr. Pusley told the Modesto Bee he was a sergeant in the Marine Reserves and had deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

But Marines spokesman Capt. Gregory A. Wolf said Mr. Pusley never served overseas and was discharged in 2008 as a private after serving less than a year. He also is not in the reserves.

Mr. Pusley did not respond to calls for comment

MASSACHUSETTS

Former chemist enters plea in tampering case

BOSTON — The former chemist at the center of a drug-testing scandal at a now-closed Massachusetts lab has pleaded not guilty to charges including perjury and tampering with evidence.

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