SEATTLE (AP) — The state Supreme Court has ruled that a voter-approved $30 car tab measure will remain on hold while a legal fight over the initiative’s constitutionality plays out. The Washington State Attorney General’s Office filed an emergency motion, saying Washington voters’ wishes were being “stymied” by a King County judge’s decision to stop Initiative 976 from taking effect. Voters last month approved I-976, the statewide measure that calls for lowering vehicle registration fees to $30, rolling back car-tab taxes that fund Sound Transit and doing away with local car-tab fees.
SEATTLE (AP) — Democratic Representative Denny Heck is retiring from Congress at the end of his term, saying his work on the impeachment inquiry and Russian election interference have made him weary. Heck is serving his fourth term representing a reliably Democratic district southwest of Seattle. He was first elected in 2012. Heck serves on the House Intelligence Committee, which has played a key role in the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
SEATTLE (AP) — Two Mount Vernon residents face federal drug charges in connection with counterfeit painkillers after a 17-year-old Bellingham boy died from an overdose last month. Authorities say the boy knew the pills were likely tainted with fentanyl because his friend had survived an overdose days earlier. An investigation into the death led authorities to Rosaliana Lopez-Rodriguez, who prosecutors say sold the pills to the teen, and a man identified as her supplier, Giovanni Alejandro Nunez. They are charged with possessing narcotics with intent to distribute. Both are in custody. Their lawyers did not immediately return emails seeking comment Wednesday.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland man has been charged with first-degree rape, accused of sexually assaulting a 30-year-old woman in downtown Portland in 2013. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the single-count indictment resulted from the testing of the alleged victim’s sexual assault kit. Frank Domont Hall Jr. pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. The alleged crime happened Feb. 24, 2013, in a multi-unit building. The indictment marks the 11th in the county resulting from a grant-funded program to send the Portland Police Bureau’s glut of unanalyzed sexual assault kit evidence to a private lab for testing. Five of the prosecutions have resulted in convictions; the others are pending trial.