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State news briefs
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SAN DIEGO TO CONSIDER POT VENDING MACHINES: SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego may soon permit marijuana sales from vending machines.

The City Council is scheduled to consider an ordinance in the next few weeks that would permit the machines.

Medical marijuana patients would collect pot from the machines inside brick-and-mortar dispensaries. To prevent fraud, the machines require a fingerprint and a prepaid card.

The $50,000 machines are built by the firm Medbox. CEO Bruce Bedrick says the 800-pound armored devices are safe from theft.

He says the company hopes to have up to 30 machines in San Diego and has begun taking location deposits.

Medbox says 150 medical marijuana dispensaries in the U.S. and Canada have installed them.

MAN GETS 16 MONTHS FOR TORCHING FAMILY DOG: CAMARILLO (AP) — An 18-year-old Ventura County man accused of dousing his family's dog with lighter fluid and setting it on fire in a ravine near their home has been sentenced to 16 months in prison.

The Ventura County Star reports the sentence angered animal rights activists who wanted Andrew Delgado to get three years behind bars.

Superior Court Judge Bruce Young said he had to consider other factors such as age and criminal history. Young pointed out that Delgado took responsibility for his crime early in the proceedings.

In January, Delgado pleaded no contest to animal cruelty and arson of property.

Delgado didn't say why he burned the 3-year-old basset hound named Buddy, but said he was under the influence of drugs when it happened. The dog died of its burns.

RIO LINDA HIGH SCHOOL MOURNS LOSS OF POPULAR COACH: RIO LINDA (AP) — Students, teachers and colleagues are mourning the loss of a beloved Central California high school sports coach who died of injuries sustained in a bicycle accident.

Marion Adams was the Rio Linda High School's track and field coach and multimedia teacher.

The 59-year-old looked over his shoulder to say goodbye to a student as he rode away after Monday's track practice and crashed into partly open metal swing gate in the school parking lot.

Adams was impaled by the gate arm and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died Tuesday of internal injuries.

He graduated from the high school in 1972 and returned as a coach in 2004.

ELK GROVE PILOT WANTS BACKYARD HELICOPTER PAD: SAN JOSE  (AP) — The Elk Grove Planning Commission will decide whether to allow the owner of a helicopter charter company to fly in and out of his backyard.

John Hamilton, who runs Sacramento Executive Helicopters, had commuted back and forth to his two-acre spread via chopper until neighbors complained about the noise and city officials ordered him to stop in 2011.

The Sacramento Bee says ( the planning commission will meet Thursday night to decide whether Hamilton can again land helicopters on the grassy swath out behind the pool on his rural property.

Not all of his neighbors oppose the plan. Fourteen of them have signed a petition Hamilton submitted along with his request to the commission.

Hamilton recently applied for permission from Caltrans to build a helipad in his yard.

HIGH-RISE HOTEL SET TO JOIN LA SKYLINE : LOS ANGELES (AP) — Another high-rise hotel is set to join the Los Angeles skyline.

Marriott has revealed plans to build a $200 million Renaissance Hotel on Olympic Boulevard near Staples Center.

The downtown area, which includes the LA Live entertainment complex, has become a destination for tourists and conventioneers. Three large hotels are already being built within a few blocks, including a 24-story tower that will house a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn by Marriott under one roof.

The Times says the new Renaissance will be more than 20 stories tall and have 450 rooms. It will open in 2016.

Bruce Baltin of PKF Consulting Downtown says LA needs an additional 2,000 to 3,000 hotel rooms to remain competitive with cities in attracting conventions.

LA CITY COUNCIL APPROVES PLAN FOR STREETCAR LINE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles City Council has approved a 30-year plan for the funding and operation of a streetcar line in downtown Los Angeles.

The council voted 9-3 Wednesday to give the go-ahead to the trolley that would run on a four-mile Broadway-to-Figueroa loop that includes Disney Hall and Staples Center.

Downtown voters approved a tax in December that is expected to raise $62.5 million, paying for half the construction of the project. Planners hope to have federal grants cover the rest, and procuring them is the final hurdle before construction can begin.

Wednesday's City Council vote provides another $300 million over 30 years for the operation of the line.

WOMAN GUILTY OF RAPE, VICTIM LEFT NAKED ON FREEWAY: SAN DIEGO (AP) — A woman has been convicted of the sexual assault of a younger woman who was then left naked on the side of a San Diego freeway.

A jury on Wednesday convicted 49-year-old Catherine McCoy of rape with a foreign object. McCoy had been convicted of kidnapping and assault in a previous trial, but that jury could not reach a verdict on the rape charge. She could get 33 years to life in prison when she's sentenced March 22.

Prosecutors say in August 2011, McCoy pulled the 21-year-old victim into an SUV, beat her with a flashlight, ordered her to take off her clothes and sexually assaulted her with a golf club.

They say the victim was targeted because she'd had sex with McCoy's boyfriend.