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Newtown officials request halt to donations

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NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - Newtown officials are asking people to stop sending gifts to the grief-stricken community, saying they are deeply grateful, but can't handle the donation deluge.

The town's first selectman, police chief and mayor made the request Wednesday through an editor at the local paper, The Newtown Bee.

They say since a gunman murdered 20 first graders and six educators Dec. 14, items that include artwork, school supplies and blankets have arrived from around the world.

They say the small community's ability to process, store and distribute the goods was quickly overwhelmed.

The officials are asking people to temporarily stop sending items and instead distribute them locally in memory of the victims.

They say once they process the "warehouses full of items," they'll detail the best ways to help.

State education officials and a teachers' union have announced a website for monetary donations to help Newtown teachers in the aftermath of a grade school shooting rampage that killed 20 children and six educators.

Contributions received at DonorsChoose.org/Newtown will help Newtown teachers design and pay for classroom projects and materials. Promoters say projects could include books and shelves for a reading area, art supplies or seeds and soil for a memorial garden.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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