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PHILADELPHIA — Surgeons at a Philadelphia hospital have successfully completed operations to separate 8-month-old twin girls who were joined at the lower chest and abdomen.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia says the seven-hour procedures to separate Allison and Amelia Tucker were completed Wednesday afternoon.

The twins are from Adams, N.Y. They shared their chest wall, diaphragm, pericardium and liver. Officials had said they were “excellent candidates” for separation.

Lead surgeon Holly Hedrick says the complex surgery “went very well and as expected.” She says the twins will be monitored closely during their recovery and should be able to live “full, healthy and independent lives.”

Officials say the surgery was the 21st separation of conjoined twins performed at the hospital.

MASSACHUSETTS

Fraud? No, spider delays small town’s vote count

REHOBOTH — It wasn’t hanging chads or voter fraud that delayed the vote count in one Massachusetts town — it was a spider.

Rehoboth Town Clerk Kathleen Conti says one of the town’s aging voting machines malfunctioned Tuesday morning.

She called a technician, who said a spider web apparently prevented the machine’s scanner from counting ballots. Ms. Conti tells The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro that all Rehoboth’s voting machines received preventive maintenance a month ago.

The vote count wasn’t completed until Wednesday afternoon.

Rehoboth voters favored Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney and incumbent Republican Sen. Scott P. Brown, but went for Democratic House candidate Joseph Kennedy III.

Rehoboth, with about 12,000 residents, is about 50 miles southwest of Boston.

Ms. Conti says she has been pressing to have the machines replaced for several years.

MONTANA

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