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Viral Stories: May 28, 2020

Maria Isabel Foti poses with her son during their January trip to Mexico. They went in memory of Foti’s husband, who died in 2019. (photo courtesy of Maria Isabel Foti)

The Times has been asking readers to share stories of living through a pandemic.

Gratitude on display in new rock garden at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital

Susan Curcio places a painted rock in the new Gratitude Garden outside Lawrence + Memorial Hospital's staff entrance before a ceremony Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in New London.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)

Volunteers painted stones with inspirational messages to show their gratitude for medical staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

Even fog is beach weather in New London

Katie Yeulenski, visiting from Massachusetts for the day, walks with her daughter Ellie, almost 2 years old, as a fog falls Wednesday morning, May 27, 2020, at Ocean Beach Park in New London.   (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

A small crowd gathered Wednesday morning as a fog fell on Ocean Beach Park.

East Lyme finalizes $76 million budget with 0.17 mill rate increase

At a virtual meeting Wednesday, the Board of Finance finalized the town’s 2020-21 budget, setting the tax rate at 28.36 mills — 0.17 mill higher than this year’s rate.

Pawcatuck barber will wait to reopen after injunction denied

Barber Cat Thibodeau, right, talks to Jacqueline Nichols-Holden of Holden Hands Massage LLC in Pawcatuck and others in attendance to show their support for Thibodeau on May 23, 2020, at her shop, Modern Barber and Shave, in the Pawcatuck area of Stonington. Nichols-Holden is a licensed massage therapist and not allowed to open until June 20. Thibodeau said Wednesday, May 27, 2020, that she does not plan to reopen until June 1 because a Superior Court Judge denied an emergency injunction that would have allowed her to continue operating. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

A Pawcatuck barber shop owner said Wednesday that she does not plan to reopen until June 1 because a Superior Court judge denied an emergency injunction that would have allowed her to continue operating.

Senate candidate Statchen has National Guard deployment extended

Bob Statchen, the Democratic candidate for the 18th District State Senate seat, has had his Connecticut Air National Guard deployments extended through June 24, according to his campaign.

Lunch before launch in Old Lyme

Ray Navage, left, of Prospect and Dick Balanda of Watertown eat their lunch Wednesday, May 27, 2020, along the shore of the Connecticut River at Ferry Landing State Park in Old Lyme. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

Ray Navage of Prospect and Dick Balanda of Watertown had their lunch Wednesday along the shore of the Connecticut River at Ferry Landing State Park in Old Lyme.

Juggling a walk in New London

Gareth Field of New London juggles Wednesday, May 27, 2020, as he walks along Ocean Avenue in New London.  (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

Gareth Field juggles as he walks along Ocean Avenue in New London.

Norwich city clerk altering dog license contest for COVID-19

The Norwich city clerk's office will hold a truncated version of the No. 1 dog license contest this year.

Possible traffic delays: Niantic River Drawbridge repairs to take place during daytime hours

As repairs continue on the Niantic River Drawbridge, the Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that the work would be done during daytime hours and drivers should expect delays in the area.

Waterford High School seniors to graduate at Waterford Beach

Graduation will take place on Thursday, June 18.

Your Turn: A labor of love during difficult times

I learned of the need in the community for masks and the need to stay at home to remain safe, it was a perfect match for me to sew and donate face masks.

Your Turn: Approaching local officials with honey instead of vinegar

The people who lead your town are your neighbors. They’re not political hacks in Washington. They are people who shop at the same stores as you and may have kids in the school with your kids.

Kindness in Real Life: Ledyard group providing a helping hand during pandemic

Jackie Mejia, left, owner of Valentino’s Restaurant, carries the first tray of food while Hilary (cq) Evans, of One Ledyard, has the decorations as they arrive at the Ledyard Police Department Tuesday, May 19, 2020 to deliver meals. Later in the day they returned to bring meals to the second-shift. One Ledyard is a new group of Ledyard citizens that are collecting donations to purchase food from local restaurants, to support them, and then delivering the food to essential workers. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

A group of community-minded residents is looking out for essential employees working in Ledyard and Gales Ferry, one freshly cooked meal at a time.

A Taste of Italy in Norwich canceled

An employee of Modesto's Restaurant in North Franklin assists a patron Sept. 9, 2017, during the 26th annual Taste of Italy, sponsored by the Norwich Italian Heritage and Cultural Committee, held in Howard T. Brown Memorial Park in Norwich. The event has been canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Tim Martin/The Day, FILE)

A Taste of Italy, scheduled for Sept. 12 in Norwich, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

UPDATED: Fire displaces family in Norwich

Norwich firefighters extinguish a blaze late Monday, May 25, 2020, at 36 Hedge Ave. on the city's east side. There were no reported injuries.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

Norwich firefighters extinguish a blaze at 36 Hedge Ave. on the city's east side late Monday.

UPDATED: Waterford PTA treasurer accused of embezzling $16,000

John Pagano was charged with second-degree larceny on Thursday.

UPDATED: Groton police release more details on Sunday motorcycle accident

Groton Town police released on Tuesday more information regarding a motorcycle crash Sunday afternoon at the intersection of Route 184 and Tollgate Road.

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MILITARY/DEFENSE

Veterans released from prison amid pandemic get a helping hand

The mission of three Connecticut-based groups is two-fold: Help incarcerated veterans with their reentry into society and provide an incentive to release them from prison given the coronavirus pandemic.

Sub base to commemorate Memorial Day with 21-gun salute

The salute will honor those who've died serving the U.S. military.

Courtney among lawmakers pressuring Trump administration to extend National Guard mobilizations

Members of the Connecticut Air National Guard 103rd Airlift Wing load personal protective equipment, or PPE, into a truck for an area emergency management official on May 13, 2020, at Mohegan Sun.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

Over 40,000 National Guardsmen have been mobilized to support states in their response to the coronavirus pandemic. But that could end June 24, just a day shy of the requirement for additional benefits for these troops.

STATE/NORTHEAST

UConn student wanted in 2 Connecticut slayings is captured in Maryland

This undated photo provided by the Connecticut State Police shows Peter Manfredonia.  (Connecticut State Police via AP)

Connecticut State Police say a college student wanted for two slayings in Connecticut has been captured in Maryland

Connecticut’s redistricting could be squeezed by COVID-19

Connecticut is one of 15 states certain to miss deadlines for drawing new legislative districts unless the U.S. Census Bureau reconsiders a four-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Conference of State Legislatures said.

Search for fugitive Connecticut man stretches to Maryland

This undated photo provided by the Connecticut State Police shows Peter Manfredonia. A woman who said she was abducted by Manfredonia, a college student suspected of killing two people in Connecticut, has been found safe in New Jersey, police said Monday, May 25, 2020. Manfredonia was last seen Sunday walking along railroad tracks in East Stroudsburg, Pa. (Connecticut State Police via AP)

A lawyer for the family of a fugitive college student says the 23-year-old double-murder suspect has no outdoor survival training and his parents are begging him to bring a peaceful end to the six-day search