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State news briefs
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TRUCKEE POLICE TURN TO FACEBOOK TO NAME FIRST K-9: TRUCKEE  (AP) — The Truckee Police Department is turning to Facebook to name is first-ever police K-9.

The black lab approved for the force this spring has yet to be chosen, but police say they want the community to help them have a name on the ready.

On its Facebook page, the Truckee Police Canine Association announced it had collected about 500 name suggestions by Wednesday morning.

Facebook users have weighed in with Sierra-themed names including Tahoe, Zephyr, Donner and Summit. There were also choices focused on enforcing the law, including Justice, Bandit and Deputy Dog.

Community members can submit a name by posting on the association's Facebook page, or by visiting a Truckee police station and filling out a form.

12 INSURANCE PLANS JOIN CALIF. HEALTH EXCHANGE: SACRAMENTO . (AP) — Twelve health insurance companies have signed contracts to offer coverage through California's new exchange as part of the federal health care law.

Covered California said Wednesday that all 12 companies will offer individual plans starting in October, and six will offer small business plans.

Among those participating are California's largest insurers, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente and Health Net Inc.

The other companies included are Alameda Alliance for Health, Chinese Community Health Plan, Contra Costa Health Plan, L.A. Care Health Plan, Molina Healthcare, Sharp Health Plan, Valley Health Plan and Western Health Advantage.

MAYOR WANTS VENUE CHANGE IN SEX HARASSMENT CASE: SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego Mayor Bob Filner wants a sexual harassment lawsuit against him moved to neighboring Imperial County, saying it would be difficult to find an impartial jury in San Diego County, a lawyer for the plaintiff said Wednesday.

Gloria Allred, an attorney for the woman who filed the suit, said she will fight the move at a Sept. 16 hearing when Filner will also be questioned under oath about the allegations made by Irene McCormack Jackson, his former communications director.

The deposition, originally scheduled for Friday, was postponed after a psychologist treating Filner in a two-week, intensive behavioral therapy program submitted a note saying the mayor would not be available.

Allred said she will argue that an impartial jury can be found in San Diego County.

"We believe that the case should be heard and decided by a jury of Mayor Filner's peers who reside in San Diego," Allred said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.

McCormack, as she is known professionally, is one of 11 women who have publicly accused Filner of making unwanted sexual advances.

The city's first Democratic mayor in 20 years has refused to step down despite a growing movement calling for his resignation that includes former supporters and elected officials from his own party.

The mayor on Monday began the therapy program and has said counseling will follow.

$4 MILLION WORTH OF POT SEIZED FROM BOAT : LAGUNA BEACH  (AP) — Authorities say they seized a smuggling boat with $4 million worth of marijuana off the coast of Southern California.

Federal agents tracked the small boat and managed to stop it near Laguna beach at around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Customs agents say they found 38 bales of marijuana aboard.

Two Mexican citizens were arrested.

MISSING OAKLAND WOMAN IS FEDERAL INVESTIGATOR: OAKLAND  (AP) — A California woman missing since Sunday worked as an investigator for the federal public defender's office to ensure death sentences were fair, her supervisor said Wednesday.

Sandra Coke, 50, of Oakland investigated cases that were appealed to federal court, said Joseph Schlesinger, chief of the death penalty appeals unit of the Office of the Federal Public Defender in the Eastern District of California.

As part of her job, Coke interviewed convicts and their families and acquaintances, sometimes traveling to other parts of the country and even internationally.

Schlesinger said it would be unusual if her work and disappearance were related. Oakland police declined to answer further questions about the case.

Schlesinger said he did not know of any threats against Coke.

"I've been doing this work a long time," he said. "I've never heard of anyone being victimized in the course of representing people and carrying out these constitutional requirements."

Oakland police reportedly found Coke's 2007 Mini Cooper convertible near her home. Her cellphone also has been discovered, said Tanya Coke, her sister.

CAR SMASHES CITY'S WISHING WELL MONUMENT: MONROVIA  (AP) — The city of Monrovia's wishing well isn't doing so well.

The street corner monument in the foothill suburb of Los Angeles was smashed late Tuesday in an auto accident.

A city statement says the driver, an unidentified 64-year-old Pasadena woman, was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries to her face and hands.

The city says the monument has been on a corner of Library Park for many years. At one time it housed the city bell and currently served as a water fountain.

The Public Works Department has collected all the pieces of the structure and intends to repair it in coming months.

The accident remains under investigation and the city says the driver may have to pay the cost of repairs if she's found at fault.

LONG BEACH TESTS SOUND-BLOCKING 'WALL OF MULCH' : LONG BEACH  (AP) — Long Beach has gone low-tech in its battle with freeway noise by erecting what's called "The Great Wall of Mulch."

City officials on Tuesday gathered to top off a 12-foot-high barrier of shredded tree clippings held together with chain-link fencing.

The 3-foot-thick wall is between the city's Hudson Park and Interstate 710, where trucks constantly roll to and from the nation's largest port complex. Authorities say it will dampen sound, block the sight of the trucks and might even reduce pollution.

Officials say the mulch comes from city tree trimming and unlike concrete, it's graffiti-proof — and practically free.

The city's testing the wall on a 600-foot stretch near the freeway but it could be extended thousands of feet it if proves effective.