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Newtown plans burials as school’s future debated

Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:47 a.m.
Updated: December 17, 2012 at 5:06 p.m.

Names of victims hang on a U.S. flag on a makeshift memorial in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn., as the town mourns victims killed in a school shooting, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Authorities say a gunman killed his mother at their home and then opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, killing 26 people, including 20 children, before taking his own life, on Friday.

— A grieving Connecticut town braced itself Monday to bury the first two of the 20 littlest victims of the school gunman. Authorities could not say when or whether the school, now a crime scene and forever scarred, would reopen.

State police Lt. Paul Vance said that it could be months before police turn Sandy Hook Elementary School back over to the district. The people of Newtown, consumed by loss, were not ready to address its future.

“We’re just now getting ready to talk to our son about who was killed,” said Robert Licata, the father of a student who escaped harm during the shooting. “He’s not even there yet.”

Classes were canceled Monday, and Newtown’s other schools were to reopen Tuesday. The district made plans to send surviving Sandy Hook students to a former school building in a neighboring town but could not say when.

The first funerals were for two 6-year-olds: Jack Pinto, a year-old New York Giants fan who might be buried in wide receiver Victor Cruz’s jersey, and Noah Pozner, who liked to figure out how things worked mechanically.

Read more on this story in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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