Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut on July 12, 1989 · 53
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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut · 53

Hartford, Connecticut
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 12, 1989
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6 W t en "MM He fte If0di f 0ot&m ESTABLISHED 1764. DAILY EDITION. VOL. O'Neill declares state of Officials say in hundreds By CRAIG W.BAGGOTT Courant Staff Writer Gov. William A. O'Neill declared a state of emergency Tuesday after touring the path of the fickle tornado-laced storm that killed two people, injured hundreds and destroyed countless homes and buildings in the state Monday. In a letter to President Bush, O'Neill asked for federal disaster aid. Although there was no formal estimate, officials said damage from the storm will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Hamden Mayor John L. Carusone said his city alone suffered damages well in excess of $50 million from a storm that federal weather officials said spawned at least three tornadoes. Throughout the day, residents of the worst hit areas Hamden, Waterbury and the Bantam section Contributing to the storm coverage were Courant Staff Writers Debra Adams, Craig W. Baggott, Vada Crosby, Marc Crowe, Anthony Giorgianni, Steve Grant, Matthew Kauffman, G. Philip Morago, Mark Pazniokas, Suzanne Sataline, Mike Swift, Joseph A. O'Brien, Karen Wagner, John Whitesides and Liz Willen and Courant Correspondent Erin .Martin. Girl's tragic death stuns church group By MARC R. CROWE Courant Staff Writer WATERTOWN Shortly after a vicious storm ripped through Black Rock State Park Monday, Bishop Lewis Lake reached out for the body of 12-year-old Jennifer Bike. While workers tried to extract Jennifer and three others pinned under trees, Lake paused to bless and annoint the head of the Stratford girl. "When I got to Jennifer, I couldn't get to the upper part of her body," . Lake said Tuesday. "So I annointed and blessed her knee. That was all I could reach." It was a tragic ending to a church camping trip that was torn apart by Jennifer's death and the injuries of three others. Richard Bisi, a spokesman for Waterbury Hospital, said Jennifer's sister, Melanie Bike, 16, was in stable condition in the intensive care unit Tuesday night Family members said she is paralyzed. Another young camper, Jamie King, 12, also of Stratford, was released from the hospital Tuesday. Sarah Sancher, 14, of Milf ord, was in stable condition at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury Tuesday. Campers at Black Rock were caught by surpise wfien a furious tornado-like storm roared over a hill Actor Laurence Olivier . Associated Press LONDON Laurence Olivier, the foremost actor of a distinguished generation and the man whose Hamlet and Henry V defined Shakespeare for modern mass audiences, died Tuesday at 82. A rare fusion of superb classical and extraordinary contemporary actor, Olivier was at home in the plays of Shakespeare, Shaw and Chekhov, as well as movies made from classics such as "Wuthering Heights" or the thriller "Marathon Man." Bush salutes East-bloc By OWEN ULLMANN Knight-Ridder Newspapers BUDAPEST, Hungary From the Solidarity Worker's Memorial in Gdansk, Poland, to the spot where the 1956 Hungarian revolt began, President Bush paid tribute Tuesday to popular uprisings that presaged democratic reform in the communist world. Outside Gdansk's Lenin Shipyard, , the birthplace Cj Solidarity, tens of CLII NO. 193 damage of millions of Litchfield among them struggled under a hot, dry sun to cope with the destruction. By noon, seven people who had been stuck behind rubble-blocked doors in their homes in Hamden were freed. Elsewhere, the buzz of chainsaws filled the air, and streets were lined with emergency crews and utility repair trucks clearing limbs and patching lines. In Bantam, the Methodist Church, borough offices and many other buildings were destroyed, but no one was reported injured. "It's close to a miracle," said Pat Szabo, a resident of Vanderpool Avenue, where tornadolike winds leveled a home and a motor home and uprooted trees. "You just look around you, and you know it's a miracle." In rural Cornwall, where the storm damaged almost every tree in the village center, First Selectman Richard Dakin said the town would "never be the same." His words were echoed in Water-bury, where city workers, volunteers and residents began the massive task of clearing hundreds of fallen trees. "It will never be the same around here," said Joseph Rimany, a resident of Concord Street, one of Water-bury's most devasted neighbor-Please see Governor, Page A8 and devastated the park. Monday night the park was littered with trunks of pines and hemlocks that had been snapped off by high winds. The roofs of cars were crushed and tents were obliterated. The church group was made up of more than 90 girls and several counselors from seven Trumbull-area wards, as congregations are known in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They had arrived at Black Rock about 1 p.m. Monday and planned to stay until Friday. It was an annual trip the Mormon diocese of the Trumbull area made to give girls between the ages of 12 and 18a chance to learn about camping and to make friends from outside their wards. The storm could not have hit at a worse time. Daniel Dickinson", parks and recreation manager for the state Department of Environmental Protection at Black Rock, said it is peak season at the park. About 75 of the 98 camp sites at Black Rock were occupied, including most of the wooded areas where the damage was heaviest. "The potential for more injuries was astounding," Dickinson said as he surveyed the damage late Monday night. About 4:30 p.m. rain began falling Please see Tragedy, Page A7 Olivier's artistry will endure in his work. Page Fl. Knighted and made a nobleman, he was Lord Olivier when he died but still plain Laurence Olivier in stage and screen credits. He also led a distinguished roll call of actor-knights and dames who made British stage and screen history. The founding father of Britain's National Theater and two-time Academy Award winner was mourned throughout the acting world as the greatest of his time. thousands of Poles cheered and chanted as Bush saluted Solidarity founder Lech Walesa as "one of Poland's great leaders" and declared, "Your time has come" for democracy. Five hours later, Bush was greeted by another enthusiastic crowd of thousands as he became the first American president to set foot on Hungarian soil. "I salute the reforms and change that taking place in this wonderful WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, 2 1 MvMM hi ' " ' ' '" 1-4, ' , - - --.rv.. . dead at 82 "It isn't too much to say that Olivier was perhaps the greatest man of the theater ever," said Sir Peter Hall, who succeeded Olivier as artistic director of the National Theater. Olivier was a "giant among actors," actor-knight Sir Alec Guinness told British Broadcasting Corp. television. Flags were lowered to half-staff outside the National Theater, and theaters from London's West End to Stratford the birthplace of Shakespeare dimmed their exterior Please see Olivier, Page A4 reformers country," a beaming Bush told the throng, which endured a steady rain to get a glimpse of the president in Budapest's Lajos Kossuth Square. Bush used these backdrops to underscore the theme of his four-day trip to Poland and Hungary: encouragement for the dramatic steps the two Soviet-bloc nations are taking toward political democracy and free-enterprise economies. Please see Bosh, Page A4 1989- 7 SECTIONS ' m Index Banks slow to cut rates Major banks have been slow to follow Chase Manhattan Bank's cut in the prime lending rate because of uncertainty over the Federal Reserve's monetary strategies as well as the slow summer vacation season, economists said Tuesday. Page Bl. Kemp testifies on HUD Housing secretary Jack F. Kemp Tuesday told a congressional subcommittee investigating influence-peddling in HUD that he intends to revamp the department to drive out even the appearance of corruption. Page A3. Amusements . F3 Ann Landers.. F4 Bridge F6 Business Bl Classified. B6,F7 Comics F4 Connecticut .. CI Connecticut Living Fl Crossword. . . . F5 Editorials . . . . C8 Food El Horoscope F4 Legal Notices . D5 Lottery...... D6 Obituaries. . . . C6 Sports Dl Television F2 WEATHER: MOSTLY SUNNY 85" to 60(30 to 15C) Complete Weather CIO j&tdSl. iS ' '-"1 W COPYRIGHT 1989, emergency Police Sgt. James Foley, above, comforts Louise Hagood Tuesday in her neighborhood in Hamden. Hagood's home at 323 Augur St. was devastated by the storm that caused damages amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars in many Con necticut communities Monday. Residents of the Dixwell Avenue area of Hamden, left, salvage what little they can Tuesday from the rubble of houses destroyed in the storm. After surveying much of the storm's damage, Gov. William A. O'Neill requested federal disaster aid. Paula Bronstein The Hartford Courant Developer had written of monster inside head By THERESA SULLIVAN BARGER Courant Staff Writer In the family den, near the bodies of John P. Cotter Jr.'s son and daughter, police found a rambling, handwritten note. It was a single page of Cotter's fragmented thoughts. A monster inside his head was causing him to shake uncontrollably, Cotter had written. Police say Cotter shot his wife, Anne M. Cotter, 44, and children, Julia Cotter, 21, and John P. Cotter HI, 17, with a revolver and then shot himself in the head with a shotgun Friday. In the unsigned note on a page of lined notebook paper, the prominent Hartford developer wrote that he had trouble sleeping and paced the floors at night, said Hartford police Lt. Frederick D. Lewis. Cotter fretted about his son's health and insomnia. There was one thought to a line, except when he talked about walking the floors with his son at night because neifcer of them could sleep, THE HARTFORD COURANT CO. 30 Hamden deals with nightmare By SUZANNE SATALINE and MATTHEW KAUFFMAN Courant Staff Writer HAMDEN Six concrete steps lead to Louise Hagood's homestead. The twisted metal railings that days ago guided visitors to the porch now meander to a junkyard of plaster and wood. Hagood stood crying softly Tuesday afternoon, mopping a yellow washcloth over her sweat-soaked skin as family members patted her shoulders. Her house or its remains rested about 50 feet east of where it was built at 323 Augur St. Her clothes were buried. Her furniture was missing: And the cat was gone. "I'm alone and I'm a hard-working person," she spat, then stopped. "No sense getting angry. It's not going to get anything back." She had lived in the second-floor apartment for eight years, alone since her husband died last August. Her three nieces and a cousin sorted through the mess, recovering Hagood's slippers, a scooter and an orange plastic container of rice. Neighbors stopped by to report sightings of her couch. Hagood missed the destruction Monday she was working the late shift as a nurse at a local convalescent home. "I can't believe this, I cant believe this," Hagood said, shaking her head. Few of her neighbors are better off. The three-block area of Newhall Street, from Millrock Road to Putnam Avenue, is a twisted nightmare of strewn debris and roofless houses. Across the street at the Whitneyville apartments, residents lost every-' thing as the tornado's wind ripped the roof off the brick and aluminum front, sweeping the contents of bedrooms away. Two doors down, wood-Please see Debris, Page A9 Inside In Bantam, residents ask why an act of God destroyed their church. Page A7 A town-by-town listing of the damage in the state. Pag A9 Parts of New York and Massachusetts still reeling from storms. Page A9 Picking up the pieces in Cornwall. Page A9 Federal agencies promise quick response to stricken areas. Page A9 Windsor residents remember the tornado that walloped their town in 1979. Page AlO What makes a tornado? Page AlO Insurers hustle to handle property-damage claims. PageBl another police source said. The word "depression" was on one line; a reference to waking up trembling on another. "Insurance no good," on a third. The note didn't say why he killed his family and himself, Lewis said. "It was written almost like a diary, like a person in a confused, disturbed state." John Cotter Jr. was under a psychiatrist's care, police sources said. The nature of Cotter's son's illness is uncertain, but a neighbor, Julie Nerman of 15 Woodside Circle, said Anne Cotter told her the youth was being taken for neurological testing. He had a blackout while he was driving his red pickup truck and went off the road last fall or winter, Nerman said. Tuesday, the chief state medical examiner's office in Farmington performed autopsies on the four bodies found in the house at 2 Woodside Circle and confirmed that Cotter's son, daughter and a second woman were victims of homicide. The sec- Pleastggee Developer, gage A14

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