02:50 PM EDT 03/12/2014
Originally posted 03/10/2014 08:50AM
In his most extensive comments about the 2012 Connecticut school massacre, the father of gunman Adam Lanza describes his struggle to comprehend what his son did – an act that "couldn't get any more evil" – and how he now wishes that his son had never been born.
Originally posted 10/07/2013 09:20AM
Newtown voters have accepted a $50 million grant from the state of Connecticut to build a new Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of last year's school massacre.
The unofficial results Saturday were 4,504 for the grant offer and 558 against. The vote was essentially a formality since a task force of Newtown officials decided in May in favor of a plan to tear down the school and build a new one. Sandy Hook students have been attending classes at a school in neighboring Monroe.
State lawmakers had set aside the money to help the town build a new school to replace the one where a gunman killed 26 people last December.
Originally posted 07/15/2013 09:35AM
Wedding bells are ringing loud and clear in Hollywood.
Just two weeks after couples NeNe and Gregg Leakes, Scott Weiland and Jamie Wachtel, Narciso Rodrigue and Thomas Tolan, and Star Wars creator George Lucas and Mellody Hobson made their love official, another three couples walked down the aisle.
Originally posted 07/14/2013 02:55PM
Erica Lafferty, the youngest daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary principal Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in December's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., recently marked a joyous occasion.
On July 6, she married fiancé Christopher Smegielski, at her mother's lake house in the Adirondacks.
That morning, , Lafferty, 27, paid a visit to her mother's grave. And she wore her wedding dress.
"I wanted to let her know how much I missed her," Lafferty says. "No daughter should ever have to do that on her wedding day … and I make sure she is always part of every day, like she always had been."
Originally posted 07/12/2013 08:00AM
A community foundation given the task to divide up donations received after the Connecticut school shootings made preliminary recommendations on $7.7 million that call for giving $281,000 to each of the families of the 26 children and school educators killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year.
The families of 12 surviving children who witnessed the Dec. 14 shootings would each get $20,000; two teachers who were injured would get $150,000 between them.
The foundation was asked to divide up $11.4 million that was raised with the help of the United Way. The foundation previously decided to divvy up $7.7 million to the families and survivors and to have committees decide on uses for the remainder of the donations, including whether to use some of it for future mental health care and other needs.
Originally posted 04/03/2013 05:00PM
They still reach for little hands that are no longer there. They dream of their warm hugs, hoping not to wake up.
For parents of the 20 first-graders from Sandy Hook Elementary School whose lives were cruelly cut short on Dec. 14 their grief knows no bounds.
"We've been given an impossible life to live," says Jessica Rekos's mother Krista. "I don't know how to live my life without my little girl."
At home, many of their siblings keep their memories alive. Daniel Barden's sister, Natalie, is keeping a journal of stories for her brother. Josephine Gay's two older sisters look through old videos to listen to her laugh.
And when Noah Pozner's sister, Sophia, recently put together a Lego spaceship, she announced: "Noah helped me put it together."
Originally posted 03/28/2013 11:40AM
Sadness and shock still continue to build over the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn.
After a three-month investigation, the state prosecutor overseeing the case said Thursday that Adam Lanza, 20, murdered 26 people within five minutes of storming into the school before turning a gun on himself. Wednesday night state police night briefed families of the victims on what was recovered from Lanza's home and car, among other findings.
Among the chilling inventory, reports The New York Times, were a large array of ammunition and weapons that included rifles, knives and samurai swords, as well as damaged computer equipment, journals and a newspaper clipping of a school shooting at Northern Illinois University.
Originally posted 01/04/2013 08:00AM
Gabrielle Giffords, the former member of Congress from Arizona who was gunned down at a Tucson shopping center two years ago – and then courageously fought to recover from her injuries – will meet privately Friday with the families of the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Conn.
The event will be held at a private home and is not open to the public.
Giffords, 42, sharing a Facebook post from her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, after the Dec. 14 school shootings, said that the time was now to begin a national dialogue on strengthening gun control. This week, she and Kelly met with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a staunch gun-control proponent, on the issue.
Originally posted 01/02/2013 11:05AM
When Sandy Hook students return to a new school on Thursday, they will find their setting looking nearly exactly like their previous classrooms, right down to the pictures on the walls.
Before the move, some teachers even took photos of their old classrooms at Sandy Hook to better prepare their new classrooms and offer frightened and traumatized students some comfort as they try to get back to normal after the Dec. 14 shootings that left 27 people dead, including their beloved principal Dawn Hochsprung, ABC News reports.
Originally posted 12/21/2012 07:00PM
Jen Maksel knows she's one of the lucky ones. Her 7-year-old son, Bryce, escaped last Friday's carnage by fleeing hero teacher Vicki Soto's classroom when the gunman looked away. But that doesn't mean it's been easy. Her son lost three of his best friends, several classmates and two of his beloved teachers that day.
"I'm completely exhausted," she tells PEOPLE this week as Newtown, Conn., sees funeral after funeral, tiny coffin after tiny coffin. "It's just so sad."
Last Friday morning Maksel, 42, was just drifting off to sleep after working an overnight shift then putting her kids on the bus when her phones began ringing off the hook. Before she could answer them, a neighbor began pounding on her front door yelling, "There's a school shooting at Sandy Hook!"
She jumped in her car and headed to the school.
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