The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

January 3, 2013

Nearly one year after stroke, Kirk returns to Senate

WASHINGTON — Nearly a year after suffering a debilitating stroke, Sen. Mark Kirk walked the 45 steps up the Capitol on Thursday and reclaimed his seat in the U.S. Senate on the first day of the 113th Congress.

The Illinois Republican was greeted at the foot of the Capitol steps by an open-armed Vice President Joe Biden. With Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., at his side, and clutching a four-prong cane, Kirk climbed the steps to the Capitol’s entrance to rousing applause from Senate colleagues, the Illinois congressional delegation and Capitol staff.

Kirk, 53, waved and smiled, pausing several times to greet well-wishers. “Feels great,” he said, walking through the door.

Moments earlier, Kirk’s return brought most of the Senate, many members of the House where Kirk once served and dozens of congressional aides to the steps of the Capitol. On a frigid, but clear and sunny day, they cheered as Kirk emerged from a sedan to find Biden awaiting him.

“Welcome back man!” Biden said.

Kirk smiled broadly, hugging the vice president.

“During the debate I was rooting for you,” Kirk joked.

With Biden, Manchin — Kirk’s closest friend in the Senate — and his Illinois colleague, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin nearby, Kirk mixed grimaces of concentration with smiles as he walked up the steps.  “Go, Mark go,” “yeah Mark!” and “you’re almost there!” fellow members of Congress cheered. Biden kept a steadying hand on Kirk as he climbed and Manchin lent a supporting arm around his waist. Kirk’s ascent, with several pauses, took about 20 minutes.

As they neared the Senate, Biden told Kirk he could take all the time he wanted.

“I made the same walk,” Biden said. He was referring to his own recuperation from brain aneurysms in 1988 and return to the Senate.

Walking past reporters, Kirk settled into a desk near the back of the chamber. One by one, fellow senators came to wish him well and Kirk chatted with the senator seated next to him, Republican John Hoeven of North Dakota.  In a prayer that began Thursday’s Senate session — the first of the new Congress — Senate Chaplain Barry Black expressed gratitude for Kirk’s return.

Kirk’s return followed a year of an intensive, experimental rehabilitation regimen that is often compared to military boot camp because of its intensity. Throughout the process, he updated constituents with video messages about his rehab and his official work. From Chicago, he held video conferences with his staff and worked to keep up to date on Senate business with an eye toward a return this year.

“I think I am more glad that he’s back than he is,” Manchin joked.

Durbin said he was thrilled to have Kirk back. “Fantastic,” he said.

Kirk was all smiles, too.

“Good to see you,” he said to a group of reporters waiting for him at the top of the Capitol steps.

Kirk keeps his seats on the Senate appropriations, banking and health-education-labor committees as well as the Special Committee on Aging. His term expires at the end of 2016.

 

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041514recycledfashion.jpg Joplin High School students to model ‘recycled’ dresses at fashion show

    Audrey Kaman will walk the runway later this week wearing a dress she designed herself — made out of 250 doilies. “I’d say it’s a fun dress,” the Joplin High School sophomore said. “It’s not really elegant because it’s short, but it’s cute.”

    April 15, 2014 4 Photos

  • Shooter in Joplin murder sentenced to life in prison

    The teen convicted of being the triggerman in the murder of Jacob Wages was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole. At a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin, Circuit Judge Gayle Crane followed a jury’s recommendations in assessing Daniel D. Hartman, 18, two life sentences on convictions for second-degree murder and armed criminal action, and 15 years on a conviction for burglary.

    April 15, 2014

  • Interchange construction work near Carterville to create safer off-ramp

    As the Missouri Department of Transportation begins rebuilding eastbound ramps at the Missouri Highway 171 and Route HH interchange near Carterville this week, drivers can expect ramp and occasional lane closures. The $1.5 million project, funded by the state, will increase the distance between ramps for drivers traveling northbound on Highway 249 and exiting eastbound to Highway 171.

    April 15, 2014

  • Schreiber Foods schedules Carthage plant expansion

    Plans to expand a Schreiber Foods plant to eventually add 160 new jobs have been endorsed by a Carthage committee working with the company. Andrew Tobish, director of combinations for Schreiber, which is based in Green Bay, Wis., confirmed the project, which he said would be complete by late spring or early summer in 2015.

    April 15, 2014

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Wednesday’s paper.

    April 15, 2014

  • Local Jews offer reactions to Overland Park shooting

    Jews in Joplin and throughout the region are struggling to come to terms with Sunday’s shooting at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement complex in suburban Kansas City, resulting in three deaths. The suspect has been identified as Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, of Aurora.

    April 14, 2014

  • Suspect in Kansas shooting has long history as white supremacist

    Frazier Glenn Cross drew the ire of Joplin residents in 2006 when several hundred copies of his white supremacist newspaper were landing on lawns in the city. The White Patriot Leader spouted the usual Cross diatribe. A race war was imminent. The “newspaper for white Americans,” as it billed itself, ranted against an invasion of the country by illegal Hispanic immigrants, the proliferation of black culture, and a purported takeover of the government, banks and the media by Jews.

    April 14, 2014

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mike Seibert elected new mayor of Joplin

    Joplin’s new mayor pledged Monday night that the city will operate with more transparency and that work toward redevelopment will be the City Council’s priority. Mike Seibert, who withstood a challenge by another incumbent councilman in last Tuesday’s election to be the Zone 4 councilman, was elected mayor by a unanimous vote of the panel Monday night.

    April 14, 2014

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Members of the new Joplin City Council, in the wake of the April 8 election and turmoil that roiled to the surface last August, will elect a mayor and mayor pro tem. Read all of the details.

    April 14, 2014