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AP - Oregon-Northwest

Latest Washington news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. PST

CAR TAB INITIATIVE

Judge rejects most of legal challenge to Eyman’s I-976

SEATTLE (AP) — A King County Superior Court judge has rejected most of a legal challenge to Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976, but the measure remains on hold pending further arguments. Judge Marshall Ferguson on Wednesday said King County and a coalition of Washington cities had failed to show the $30 car tab measure was unconstitutional. However, the judge reserved ruling on two issues: whether the initiative impairs the contracting authority of the city of Burien, and on whether a requirement that car valuations be based on Kelley Blue Book values illegally favors a private company. Officials say the measure would gut transportation budgets.

ASPERGILLUS MOLD-DEATH

Infant with Aspergillus mold infection dies

SEATTLE (AP) — A nearly 6-month-old baby has died after contracting an Aspergillus mold infection at Seattle’s Children’s hospital. The Seattle Times reports Beth Hutt died early Wednesday. Her parents, Katie and Micah Hutt, said in a Facebook post Wednesday that they were very grateful to the team that watched over their daughter. Beth was born in August with a heart condition and was rushed to Seattle Children’s. At some point at Seattle Children’s, Beth contracted an infection in her heart from the Aspergillus mold, a recurring problem that has sickened patients at the hospital. Beth’s family is involved in a class-action lawsuit against Children’s, filed on behalf of the families of patients who have been sickened from the mold.

BUSINESS TAX-HOUSING

Councilmember: Biz tax would raise $300M for Seattle housing

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle city councilmember Kshama Sawant has unveiled details of her business tax proposal that she says would raise $300 million to build thousands of new homes in Seattle and retrofit existing homes. The proposal would impose a payroll tax of 1.7% on the largest 3% of Seattle corporations, as measured by payroll in the city. Sawant estimates that the 825 biggest companies in Seattle including Amazon would pay the tax. She says the remaining 97% of companies would pay no tax under the proposal. Nonprofit organizations, public employers and grocery stores also would be exempt.

HAIR DISCRIMINATION

House approves ban on race-based hairstyle discrimination

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington House has passed a measure that would ban race-based discrimination against hair texture and hairstyles. The measure passed on a bipartisan 87-10 vote Wednesday and heads to the Senate for consideration. If passed by the Senate and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee, Washington would join three other states with such a ban: California, New York and New Jersey. The bill amends the Washington Law Against Discrimination so that the term “race” includes traits historically associated or perceived to be associated with race, including hairstyles like afros, braids, locks and twists. 

FENTANYL DEATHS

Concerns raised amid 3 overdose deaths in Washington state

SEATTLE (AP) — Health officials in Washington state have confirmed three people died from separate fentanyl-related overdoses on the same day. KOMO-TV reports that 26-year-old Kraz Lee Adrian was one of three people who was found dead Thursday. His family says Kraz thought was he taking a Percocet pill he bought on the street for his chronic knee and back pain, but was found dead in his room within two hours. Authorities say fentanyl was found in counterfeit Percocet and oxycodone pills in all three deaths. Officials say there are increasing reports of fentanyl-involved overdose deaths from counterfeit pills. Health officials have encouraged residents not to take pills there were not prescribed to them.

DEPUTY SHOT-PLEA

Woman pleads guilty to murder in sheriff’s deputy death

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A woman has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for her role in the death of Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney. Samantha Dawn Jones is one of three people charged in connection to McCartney’s death. The News Tribune reports Jones is scheduled to be sentenced later this year. McCartney was shot Jan. 7, 2018 while responding to a home invasion in the Frederickson area. The shooter, Frank Pawul, was sentenced to life without parole in 2018 after he pleaded guilty to aggravated first-degree murder and other crimes. 

DRIVER SHOT-SEATTLE

A man was shot while driving on a Seattle street

SEATTLE (AP) — A 25-year-old man was shot Wednesday morning while driving on Aurora Avenue. The Seattle Times reports the man was driving north about 6:15 a.m. when a man in a silver or gray two-door Pontiac opened fire on his car. Police say the man was shot in both legs. Detectives are investigating the circumstances of the shooting. Police met the victim on the street and applied tourniquets. Medics transported him to Harborview Medical Center. The man’s injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

SPORTS BETTING

Bill to allow sports betting advances to state House floor

SEATTLE (AP) — The chance to bet on sporting events is a step closer to reality in Washington state after a House appropriations committee approved a bill allowing tribal casinos to accept such bets.The committee voted 25-7 on Tuesday to send the bill to the full House for a vote before the session ends on March 13. The issue would also have to pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.The House bill is sponsored by state Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, who told The Seattle Times on Tuesday evening that he hoped to move forward quickly.Floor votes in both branches of the Legislature require a 60% majority to pass gambling-expansion laws.

WOMAN ASSAULTED-SON SENTENCING

Washington state man gets 11 years for attacking mother

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a Washington state man with schizophrenia to 11 and a half years in prison after he pleaded guilty to assaulting his mother last year. The Kitsap Sun reported Tuesday that 30-year-old Adrian Allan Charvet pleaded guilty to first-degree assault after he attacked his mother in Bainbridge Island in January 2019. Authorities say his mother told police that she let her son stay at her house knowing he was homeless, but he became violent after demanding money. Prosecutors say Charvet punched her, tried to strangle her and forced her to swallow up to 25 Aleve pills before she was able to escape. 

SIDEWALK ORDINANCE

Salem City Council revisits controversial sidewalk ordinance

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The City Council in Salem, Oregon, is debating an ordinance that would bar people from sitting and sleeping on city sidewalks.   The Statesman Journal reports the Council voted 5-4 Monday to craft a proposal and discuss sit-lie — and possibly vote on it — at their next meeting Feb. 24.  The move comes almost two months after a camping ban pushed dozens of homeless people into sleeping outside downtown businesses. Previously proposed ordinances aimed at stopping the homeless from camping on public sidewalks failed in both 2017 and 2019 after the Council received push back from the public.  

The Associated Press