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On billet night, some cadets learn they're bound for Coast Guard icebreakers in Arctic

First-class Cadet Mikael Axelson fist-bumps Capt. Arthur Ray, commandant of cadets, after receiving his billet Thursday, March 4, 2021, while first-class Cadet Salena Bantz steps up and receives a fist-bump from Capt. Rick Wester, assistant commandant, as they proceed to center stage to open their billets during billet night at Leamy Hall on the Coast Guard Academy campus in New London. Axelson, Bantz and their fellow Cadets Aidan Uvanni and Drusilla Corbett will be going to the Coast Guard icebreaker cutter Polar Star.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)

The academy's annual billet night ceremony Thursday was the first time the class had gathered together in one room since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Connecticut VA opens up vaccine eligibility to veterans of all ages

In Connecticut, any veteran, regardless of age, who is enrolled in the Veterans Affairs health care system, can now get the COVID-19 vaccine.

When more supply available, sub base prepared to administer 2,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses per day

More than 500 sailors at the Naval Submarine Base were vaccinated against COVID-19 during a clinic Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, at the base's Morton Hall Gymnasium in Groton. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

Supply remains the biggest obstacle to doing that, the base's emergency manager said. The base is receiving more regular shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine and is holding at least one of these mass vaccination clinics a week.

Officials back proposal to improve military spouse employment in Connecticut

Advocates for military spouses say Lamont's proposed changes to professional licensing requirements could make Connecticut a more attractive place for service members and their families.

Coast Guard Academy cadet recognized as young leader in engineering

U.S. Coast Guard Academy Cadet 2nd class Kat Stroh stands in one of the engineering labs Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in McAllister Hall at the academy. She was recognized as a Modern-Day Technology Leader at the annual Black Engineering of the Year Award's conference, held virtually Thursday.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

Kat Stroh, recognized as a young leader in engineering, said early exposure and representation are key to increasing minority and female participation in the STEM fields.

LOCAL NEWS

New London, Norwich stand to benefit from new PILOT bill

The state legislature has approved a shift in the way municipalities are reimbursed for tax-exempt properties and New London stands to be one of the major beneficiaries.

A year later, pandemic deaths leave an unfillable void

Connecticut reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 8, 2020. In the year since, we’ve lost grandparents, mothers, fathers, siblings and friends.

Rugby club takes a plunge to raise funds for Special Olympics

Members of the New London County Rugby Club run toward the water as they participate in the virtual Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at the McCook Point Park beach in Niantic.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)

Members of the New London County Rugby Club participated in the virtual Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics on Saturday at the McCook Point Park beach in Niantic.

1918 flu didn't leave region quietly

This Red Cross hospital in New Haven was similar to facilities for influenza patients in southeastern Connecticut. The beds were isolated by curtains. (Library of Congress)

To get an idea what a less-than-ideal return to normal could be like, it's worth a look at what happened as the last pandemic receded.

COLUMNS

And then there were vaccines

Some good came out of a year of pandemic.

NEWS FROM OUR TOWNS

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Pennsylvania man charged in Norwich robbery

On Dec. 27, 2020, police responded to a Taftville home for reports of a robbery. Kareem Swinton, 19, of Allentown, Pa., allegedly robbed a man at gunpoint and stole his cellphone and other items, police said.

Police logs - March 6, 2021

Arrests made by state and local police across the region.

Police logs - March 5, 2020

Arrests made by state and local police across the region.

STATE/NORTHEAST

Another Cuomo aide comes forward, alleges governor touched, kissed her

In this image taken from video from the Office of the New York Governor, Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Albany, N.Y. (Office of the NY Governor via AP)

A third staffer to Gov. Andrew Cuomo accused him of inappropriate behavior, saying in a newspaper interview that he asked her if she had a boyfriend, called her “sweetheart,” touched her back and kissed her hand.

Police: Man drove wrong way on I-84, struck trooper

Connecticut state police say they arrested a Utah man after he drove the wrong way on a highway, led police on a chase and intentionally struck a trooper, who was not seriously injured