WASHINGTON — House Majority Whip Steve Scalise returned to the Capitol Monday after surgery and a 12-day hospital stay to cast a “yes” vote on a stopgap spending bill that will reopen the government through Feb. 8.

“I’m feeling real good,” the Louisiana Republican said regarding his health after what he called a “major surgery” he had 12 days ago. “It was very successful but it took a long recovery. But I’m feeling great.”

Scalise said he still has to continue rehabilitation, which he’s been doing since June, “so I can be able to walk properly and hopefully walk without crutches.”

The rehabilitation is going well, he said, noting he is back to work full time now post surgery.

“I’m back in the game,” Scalise said.

Technically Scalise was never fully out of the game. He conducted whip calls from his hospital bed on the four-week continuing resolution that the House passed last week after much vote wrangling among the rank-and-file, many of whom were reluctant to support another stopgap measure because of its impact on the military.

“I will say I have a much higher ‘yes’ close ratio when I’m in the hospital making calls than when I’m here,” Scalise said. “So maybe I need to get a room at the hospital for big votes, just drive over there make calls and come back.”

Scalise said he “absolutely” intends to run for re-election, saying he loves his job.

—CQ-Roll Call


A 13-year-old took a brief joyride — before slamming into 3 people walking, Miami cops say

MIAMI — The driver arrested in Sunday’s hit-and-run that caused a fractured hip and a bruised butt has two addresses on his arrest report: his home address and his middle school address.

Jamie Pinol, a 13-year-old Nautilus Middle School student, faces felony charges of leaving the scene of a crash with injury and leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury, Miami Beach police say.

Beach cops say two blocks into an unauthorized joyride around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Pinol ran his stepfather’s Cadillac into 51-year-old Yolanda Fajardo, 21-year-old Carol Gutierrez and a child of one of the women. After mowing down the trio as they crossed Dickens Avenue on 77th Street in Miami Beach, police say, Pinol reversed back onto 77th Street and headed west.

He left behind Fajardo, her fractured hip and lacerated head; Gutierrez and her bruised buttocks; and the child, whose injuries weren’t defined on the report.

But Pinol didn’t leave behind the witness to the crash driving a Dodge Charger. The witness called police and police stopped Pinol.

—Miami Herald


Bill Cosby sets first comedy show since rape trial

Bill Cosby will return to the stage for the first time since a judge declared a mistrial in his rape trial in June.

The disgraced TV star announced Monday, shortly after giving the eulogy at the funeral for Faison Firehouse co-founder Tad Schnugg, that he’s scheduled a special performance in Philadelphia in honor of jazz musician Tony Williams.

Cosby is also expected to perform with the Tony Williams Jazz Quartet at the Lorosa Jazz Club.

The 80-year-old comedian, who has laid low since his trial, resurfaced in Philly Sunday ahead of the NFC Championship game, which saw the Eagles knock out the Vikings 38-7.

Jury selection for Cosby’s retrial begins March 29, a judge announced Monday.

Last year, Cosby stood trial for the alleged 2004 assault of Andrea Constand, who worked at Temple University at the time.

Constand claims Cosby raped her. He claims the sexual encounter was consensual.

District Attorney Kevin Steele recently requested that 19 additional women be allowed to testify at the retrial, which is scheduled to begin in April, in order to prove a history of abuse.

The “Cosby Show” star has been accused of drugging and assaulting more than 50 women.

—New York Daily News


Florida man attacks girlfriend with an unlikely weapon — his dinner, cops say

MIAMI — A St. Petersburg man got angry with his live-in girlfriend and lashed out.

Juwan Brown ended up getting arrested on domestic battery charges.

This is, unfortunately, not a unique occurrence.

But his weapon of choice was.

The suspect used a piece of chicken, cops say.

The 23-year-old was taken into custody Wednesday night after the dispute at the couple’s home.

According to a police report from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the two were verbally arguing and then Brown “intentionally stepped on her left foot.”

A short time later, the 6-foot-2 suspect threw the piece of poultry at the victim, striking her in the left side of her face, and her glasses. The Smoking Gun was the first to report the story.

Brown is free on a $5,000 bond and was ordered by a judge to have no contact with the victim.

—Miami Herald


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