Balloon boy parents to pay $36,000 in hoax

FORT COLLINS, Colo. —The parents who pleaded guilty in the balloon boy hoax have agreed to pay about $36,000 in restitution to authorities who responded to the incident.

Larimer County Chief Judge Stephen Schapanski accepted the agreement that prosecutors reached with Richard and Mayumi Heene, who weren't at Tuesday's hearing.

The Larimer County sheriff's office and other agencies had sought $48,000 for responding to the Oct. 15 incident. The Heenes reported their 6-year-old son had floated away in a homemade UFO-shaped helium balloon, touching off a scramble of dozens of emergency responders and two Colorado National Guard helicopters.

Perot decides to wait and see on tea party

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Texas billionaire Ross Perot said Tuesday that the national tea party movement seems to be doing well but that time will tell how it will affect the country, government and November elections.

The former Reform Party presidential candidate also said he wouldn't be offering the group advice anytime soon.

"In a free society, you're entitled to do whatever you want to do. Time will tell how effective it is," Perot told reporters in Kansas City on Tuesday, where he was receiving a leadership award from the Army's Command and General Staff College Foundation. "Just as a layman looking at it from afar, it seems to me they are pretty well organized and getting the crowd."

The foundation supports the Army's college at Fort Leavenworth. Perot has pledged $6.1 million to the foundation for the college's programs in interagency cooperation and military ethics.