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March 26, 2013 at 6:00 AM
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Shopping mom left baby in car with note

PORIRUA, New Zealand, March 25 (UPI) -- Shoppers at a New Zealand store said they were shocked to see a baby left alone in a car with a note and phone number from the mother.

A man who asked not to be named told The New Zealand Herald he arrived with his family at the Pak'n'Save in Porirua around 9 a.m. Saturday and he spotted a baby alone in a neighboring car.

The man said there was a note with the baby.

"It was written from the baby's perspective, and it said, 'My mum's in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything', and it had the cellphone number," the man said. "We waited there for a little bit, wondering if the mum was just going to be two seconds and come back. And my wife said, 'I'm not going in without someone being here with the baby.'"

The couple said they went inside when another pair of customers agreed to stand vigil until the mother emerged. The newly arrived couple called the cellphone number on the note and asked the mother to come out.

"We had gone in [to the Pak'nSave] before the mother had come out because we had a baby ourselves that was in a hurry," he said.

The man said the child appeared to be well cared for.

"As parents ourselves we know it is hard to get a baby to sleep, and once you start moving them they can wake up... we thought it was just a silly decision by a tired mother," he said.

Toronto Zoo pandas arrive in Canada

TORONTO, March 25 (UPI) -- The Toronto Zoo announced its two pandas arrived in the city from China just before 11 a.m. Monday and were given a police escort to the zoo.

The facility said Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford were among the officials greeting the pandas, which arrived via FedEx plane at 10:46 a.m. and were scheduled to arrive at the zoo about 1 p.m., the zoo said.

"Well that was quite a moment. It's not every day you get to sign for pandas," Harper said after signing for the delivery.

"It is a great honor to be entrusted with Er Shun and Da Mao, two of China's national treasures," the prime minister said. "Their presence in Canada today and for the next 10 years will remind us of the strong relationship between our countries and will delight the many Canadians who will visit the zoos to see them."

'Big Lebowski' fans gather in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, March 25 (UPI) -- About 300 fans of 1998 film "The Big Lebowski" crowded a Los Angeles bowling alley for the second night of Lebowski Fest L.A.

The fans, many dressed as their favorite characters from the Coen brothers' film, gathered at Fountain Bowl Saturday night to discuss the film, the story of unemployed bowler The Dude, played by Jeff Bridges, who becomes involved in a kidnapping plot when he is mistaken for a much wealthier man with a similar name, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Monday.

"What makes this movie so great is that it's not about bowling," said Barry Asher, Fountain Bowl's pro and a consultant on the film. The Dude and best friend Walter, played by John Goodman, "have their own things going on, but they're in a bowling league. It's what ties them together."

The event featured a trivia contest, a costume competition and 4 hours of bowling for $25.

Officer says saw man rolling pot cigar

SPARTA, N.J., March 25 (UPI) -- Police in New Jersey said a man was arrested after an officer spotted him rolling a marijuana cigar while waiting at a red light.

The Sparta Police Department said the officer was waiting at a red light about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday and looked at the Honda Civic next to him to see a 20-year-old woman driver with Christopher Beyel, 21, in the passenger's seat, reported Monday.

The police report said officer Craig Grauerholz looked on "in amazement" as Beyel, who apparently did not see him, allegedly rolled marijuana into a blunt.

Grauerholz said the driver eventually noticed him and allegedly had Beyel lower the illicit cigar. The officer stopped the car and discovered less than 50 grams of marijuana, an empty plastic bag with marijuana residue, a package of Zig-Zag rolling papers, a metallic grinder with marijuana residue inside and one cigar containing marijuana.

Beyel was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released on his own recognizance and is due in court Thursday.

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