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Newtown dad testifies on guns

– After weeks of arguing constitutional fine points and citing rival statistics, senators wrangling over gun control saw and heard the anguish of a bereft father.

Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse, was among those cut down at a Connecticut elementary school in December, asked the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to ban assault weapons like the one that killed his child.

“I’m not here for the sympathy or the pat on the back,” Heslin, a 50-year-old construction worker, told the senators, weeping openly during much of his hushed 11-minute testimony. “I’m here to speak up for my son.”

At his side were photos of his son as a baby, of them both taken on Father’s Day, six months before Jesse was among 20 first-graders and six administrators killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The hearing’s focus was legislation by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to ban assault weapons and ammunition magazines carrying more than 10 rounds. A Bushmaster assault weapon was used at Newtown by the attacker, Adam Lanza, whose body was found with 30-round magazines.

Woman shoots, kills grandsons, self

A woman who picked up her two young grandsons from daycare and was supposed to bring them home so the 2-year-old could open his birthday presents instead drove them to a neighboring town and shot and killed the children and herself, Connecticut state police and family members said.

The bodies of 47-year-old Debra Denison and her grandsons, 2-year-old Alton Perry and 6-month-old Ashton Perry, were found Tuesday night in a car parked near Lake of Isles in Preston, in the southeastern part of the state.

State police called the deaths a double murder-suicide Wednesday, saying they believe Denison shot the boys and herself. Autopsies were planned.

Family members said Denison, the boys’ maternal grandmother, had a history of mental health problems.

6 deaths among effects of storm

A Midwest snowstorm packing heavy snow and strong winds left six people dead in Kansas, hundreds of vehicles crashed or stranded in Wisconsin, and tens of thousands of utility customers without power in Michigan.

“It’s the heaviest snow we’ve received all winter long, as far as the largest quantity and it’s wet,” said Mark Rupnik, a sheriff’s lieutenant in Sheboygan County, Wis., where residents were hit with 15 inches of wet snow over two days – Tuesday and Wednesday.

The storm hit a wide swath of the U.S. with wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph and wet snow.

Ex-WNBA player indicted in Atlanta

Prosecutors say former WNBA player and Olympic gold medalist Chamique Holdsclaw is being indicted in a November 2012 shooting in Atlanta.

Fulton County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Yvette Jones said Wednesday that a six-count indictment charges the 35-year-old with aggravated assault, criminal damage and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Holdsclaw was arrested after an argument with Tulsa Shock player Jennifer Lacy, who told police she was Holdsclaw’s ex-girlfriend. The two were also Atlanta Dream teammates in 2009.

Police say Holdsclaw broke the windows to Lacy’s car and shot at it. No one was injured.

Muscle remedy at Pistorius’ house

The substance found in Oscar Pistorius’ bedroom after the shooting death of his girlfriend was identified by his representatives Wednesday as Testis compositum – an herbal remedy they said is used for “muscle recovery.” A product by that name also is sold as a sexual enhancer.

Testis compositum is marketed by some online retailers in oral and injectable forms as a testosterone booster and sexual performance aid that contains the testicles, heart and embryo of pigs, among other ingredients. Some online retailers also say it can be used to treat fatigue.

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