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August 13. 2013 10:41PM

Vigil planned in Amherst for slain boy

AMHERST — A candlelight vigil is being planned in memory of Josh Savyon, who was slain by his father during a supervised custody visit at the YWCA in Manchester on Sunday.

The vigil will be held at the village green in Amherst on Friday at 7 p.m., according to local resident Andy Rowe, who is helping to organize the event.

Josh Savyon, 9, who would have been a fourth-grader at the Wilkins School in the fall, was shot by his father, Muni Savyon, 54, during a supervised visit at the YWCA. Muni Savyon then turned the gun on himself.

Rowe said the vigil is "very much a grassroots effort that grew out of discussions on Facebook concerning the tragedy."

Amherst said the vigil is non-partisan and non-denominational, but there is hope that in addition to honoring Josh, the gathering will encourage lawmakers to take a new look at the laws surrounding child custody.

"...Maybe it will help get some reforms started around how high-risk parental visitations are handled," said Rowe.

Gov. Maggie Hassan has been invited to attend the vigil, Rowe said, but he hasn't had confirmation that she'll be there.

Wilkins School Principal Gerry St. Amand aid in a written statement that counselors will be available at the school on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to "meet with students, staff members, and families who may require support in addressing this tragedy."

"Finding the right words and doing the right things can prove quite challenging at times such as this," said St. Amand, "but please know that my heart, thoughts, and prayers are extended to Josh's mother, his family, friends, and teachers as we all travel this difficult road."

The principal said that information about services for Josh will be posted on the school's website, www.sprise.com/clark/, as they become available.

nfoster@newstote.com


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