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Newtown Requests Halt to Gifts, Says They'll Become 'Sacred Soil'

Officials say it's better to distribute gifts locally, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Since the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown on Dec. 14, gifts have poured into Newtown from all over the world. In Sandy Hook and on the steps of Edmond Town Hall, piles of candles, teddy bears, letters of well wishes and other memorials have sprouted up.

But now town officials are respectfully requesting a halt to the gifts.

First Selectman Pat Llodra, Police Chief Michael Kehoe and superintendent Janet Robinson are among those who asked for gifts to stop Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Additionally, Llodra told residents in a townwide call Saturday that existing gifts -- including signs and teddy bears -- would be "gathered and processed" into soil to serve as the foundation for a future Sandy Hook memorial, according to the Newtown Bee:

"This will be sacred soil, holding all the sweet messages and symbols of love and hope, of kindness and sadness, visions for a better future, and promises to forever remember the ones lost in this sad attack."

The call added that Newtown's Public Works department will be in charge of the work.

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