Representative John Kivela

LANSING, MI--   The state House has introduced a bill that would call a stretch of Upper Peninsula road the Representative John Kivela Memorial Highway.

The measure was introduced last week by 73 members of the House, including Representatives Sara Cambensy, Scott Dianda, and Beau LaFave. If made into law, the bill would name M-95 from the Dickinson County line north to the intersection with US-41 in Kivela’s honor.

The bill is currently in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

LANSING, MI--   Friends and former colleagues of the late Representative John Kivela are gathering in Lansing to honor him and launch a new fund in his name. 

Spaghetti & Sisu will be held on May 9, the day Kivela died after a long struggle with alcoholism. He was known among lawmakers for hosting spaghetti dinners and bringing people together from across the aisle.

The event is being held in conjunction with the launch of the John Kivela Legacy Fund, created in collaboration with his family. They will help direct how the donated funds are spent.

LANSING, MI--   Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law the final bill sponsored by the late Representative John Kivela.

The law increases penalties for illegally importing deer, elk, and moose carcasses into Michigan from another state or province. It aims to protect native herds from diseases that could spread. Increased penalties include up to 90 days in prison or fines between $500 and $2,000.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Three Marquette County Democrats have filed to run for the 109th House District seat vacated by the death of Representative John Kivela. 

LANSING, MI--   Late Representative John Kivela told an officer during a police stop the day before he passed that his life was over. 

The Detroit Free Press says the officer stopped Kivela from walking into traffic on busy US-127. The newspaper said it obtained records Thursday from the Clinton County Sheriff's Department. Sheriff Lawrence Jerue says officers believed Kivela was talking about his political career when he said his life was over last week. He says there wasn't a specific suicide threat to justify keeping him in custody for a mental-health assessment.

LANSING, MI--   A bill to combat chronic wasting disease sponsored by the late Representative John Kivela has passed the House.

The legislation would increase the penalties for illegally bringing a deer carcass from a state with CWD into Michigan. Fines would range from $500 to $2,000 and violators could face up to 90 days in jail.

Kivela, who died last week, was especially concerned about CWD spreading to deer herds in the U.P.

Saying goodbye

May 14, 2017

MARQUETTE, MI--   People came from across the 109th District and the state itself Saturday to honor a man one person called one of the most effective lawmakers in the state: John Kivela.

Dozens of extra chairs had to be set out to accommodate the hundreds of people who called themselves friends, family, co-workers, or constituents of the Marquette Democrat, who passed away last Tuesday.

Upper Peninsula residents are paying tribute to Representative John Kivela by putting his campaign signs

in their yards. Public Radio 90's Nicole Walton spoke with Jason Schneider, Executive Director of the Marquette Chamber of Commerce and Kivela's campaign manager for his first House bid, about his memories of Kivela and another way residents can let their feelings be known. 

LANSING, MI--   Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff Friday, May 12, within the state Capitol complex and within the 109th District of the 

House of Representatives in honor of state Rep. John Kivela, who died Tuesday, May 9.

“John was a great person and a passionate public servant and will be remembered for his commitment to his constituents in Marquette and the Upper Peninsula,” Gov. Snyder said. “I extend my most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues in the Legislature during this difficult time.”

Capitol mourning Kivela

May 10, 2017

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   There were tears and hugs on the floor of the state House today as colleagues got word that state Representative John Kivela (D-Marquette) took his life – one day after his second arrest on a charge of drunk driving. 

House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) announced that Tuesday and Wednesday sessions would be cancelled to mourn Kivela’s passing. 

“I’m sure today is the toughest day we will experience this term together,” said Leonard. “And I truly have no words about the loss of our dear friend, John Kivela.”