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AP - Oregon-Northwest

Here is the latest Washington news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. PST

SEATTLE (AP) — Two men accused of instigating a gunfight in downtown Seattle in January have each been charged with first-degree murder, six counts of first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm. The Seattle Times reports in the charges filed Wednesday, King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Mary Barbosa indicated the state will ask that Marquise Tolbert and William Toliver be held without bail. Tolbert and Toliver, both 24, were arrested by U.S. Marshals and members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Saturday and appeared in court Tuesday, where both waived extradition to Washington. It is unclear when they will be transported back to King County but prosecutors say both are scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 19. 

SEATTLE (AP) — Major Seattle-area companies say they are willing to be taxed to help address regional challenges, such as affordable housing, mental health, and public safety.KUOW reports the companies — including Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Alaska Airlines – signed a statement released Tuesday, saying: “We think the most high impact way to contribute to meet those needs is in the form of a new business tax.”The statement comes as state lawmakers consider a bill that would allow King County to tax large businesses with high earners to help address homelessness in the region.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has issued an emergency proclamation for 19 counties because of significant winter weather that is forecast to continue through the weekend. Inslee said in the proclamation Wednesday that the storms caused injuries, power outages, evacuations, rail line closures, and extensive damage. Road damage caused by recent snow is estimated at more than $3 million and required the Department of Transportation to start repair work immediately through the implementation of emergency procurement procedures to alleviate impacts to public safety. The proclamation affects Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum and Whatcom Counties.

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — The city of SeaTac will no longer issue exorbitant bills for free-speech demonstrations. An immigrant rights group called Families Belong Together-Washington Coalition sued SeaTac in 2018 after the city sent it a bill for $37,000 in public safety costs related to a protest of President Donald Trump’s separation of migrant families. The city agreed to settle the case by waiving the fee and changing its policies. It now will charge no more than $500 for public safety costs at free-speech events. The new policy takes effect Saturday.

The Associated Press