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What type of spider?

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Does anybody know what type of spider fits the following description? Recently I've been seeing them everywhere.  They are large, almost three inches it seems.  Their bodies are black, with yellow shapes on the abdomen.  They also have yellow stripes on their legs.  If you remember the typical "garden spider", they look similar to those friendly spiders. The webs sometimes span five feet, and the strands can hold small sticks.  Do any of you know the name of this spider?  They aren't necessarily a problem, but I really see a lot of them everyday.

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