- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Whitney Houston’s family is asking that any donations in her memory be sent to the arts-focused public school in New Jersey that she attended as a child and that is now named after her.

In lieu of flowers, they say mourners should donate to the Whitney Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts in East Orange.

Houston attended the school as a girl when it was named the Franklin School. She was a regular visitor for many years afterward.

The singer was born in Newark but grew up in nearby East Orange. She died Saturday at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Her invitation-only funeral is set for noon Saturday at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, where she sang in the choir. The Houston family says no public memorial service is planned at this time.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Whitney Houston’s funeral will be held Saturday in the church where she first showcased her singing talents as a child.

The owner of the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark said Tuesday that the funeral will be held at noon at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark.

The funeral home said that no wake would be held and that there would be no public memorial at Newark’s Prudential Center, the sports arena that the family had discussed as a possible venue.

The funeral service will be by invitation only, Carolyn Whigham said, reflecting the family’s desire to keep the memorial more personal.

“They have shared her for 30 some years with the city, with the state, with the world. This is their time now for their farewell,” she said.

“The family thanks all the fans, the friends and the media, but this time is their private time,” she said.

The 48-year-old Houston died Feb. 11 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., just hours before she was set to perform at producer Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy Awards bash. Officials say she was underwater and apparently unconscious when she was pulled from a bathtub.

After an autopsy Sunday, authorities said there were no indications of foul play and no obvious signs of trauma on Houston. It could be weeks, however, before the coroner’s office completes toxicology tests to establish the cause of death.

Los Angeles County coroner’s assistant chief Ed Winter said bottles of prescription medicine were found in the room. He would not give details except to say: “There weren’t a lot of prescription bottles. You probably have just as many prescription bottles in your medicine cabinet.”

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