Representative John Kivela

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.”

LANSING, MI--   State Representative John Kivela has died of an apparent suicide. 

The third-term Democrat was arrested Monday for a second offense of operating under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .17 or more. He had posted bond and was released from jail Tuesday morning.

Sources say when colleagues went to his Lansing home early Tuesday afternoon they found him dead.

Condolences are pouring out from the Capitol. In a press release, State Senator Tom Casperson said:

CLINTON COUNTY, MI--   State Representative John Kivela has been arrested a second time for drunken driving. 

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office says the Marquette Democrat was arrested around 4 p.m. Monday near Lansing for operating under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .17 or more. That level is punishable under Michigan’s “Super Drunk” laws.

A judge ordered a $300 bond for Kivela. He remains jailed at this time. Arraignment is set for Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Clinton County District Court.