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Newtown, Conn., Officials Request Halt To Gifts

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A school bus passes a makeshift memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as it takes students to Newtown High School December 18, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. (Photo credit BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

A school bus passes a makeshift memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as it takes students to Newtown High School December 18, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. (Photo credit BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Officials in Newtown, Conn., are asking people to stop sending gifts to the grief-stricken community following the deadly school shooting, saying they’re deeply grateful but can’t handle the donation deluge.

The town’s first selectman, police chief and schools superintendent made the request Wednesday through an editor at The Newtown Bee newspaper.

They say since a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six educators Dec. 14, gifts from school supplies to artwork have arrived in such numbers they’ve overwhelmed the small community’s ability to process them.

The officials are asking people to temporarily stop sending gifts. They say once they process the “warehouses full of items,” they’ll detail the best ways to help.

Meanwhile, the United Way of Western Connecticut announced Wednesday that a fund established after the shooting to support Newtown has grown to $3.5 million.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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