Was an official press release sent out by U.S. Repeating Arms concerning the closure?

Yes.  It was released January 17, 2006. The text is included below:

For Immediate Release -- January 17, 2006

U.S. Repeating Arms Company To Close New Haven, CT Facility -- U.S. Repeating Arms Company, manufacturer of Winchester brand rifles and shotguns will close its New Haven, Connecticut manufacturing facility. Many efforts were made to improve profitability at the manufacturing facility in New Haven, and the decision was made after exhausting all available options.

Effective March 31, 2006 the New Haven manufacturing facility will stop manufacturing the Winchester Model 70, Model 94 and Model 1300.

Winchester Firearms will continue to sell and grow its current line of Select Over & Under shotguns, the new Super X3 autoloading shotgun, the new Super X autoloading rifle and Limited Edition rifles. The company also plans to introduce new models in the future. There will be no change in Customer Service.

This action is a realignment of resources to make Winchester Firearms a stronger, more viable organization. Winchester Firearms plans to continue the great Winchester legacy and is very excited about the future.