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CALIFORNIA

Parole is easier amid budget crisis

LOS ANGELES — Parole is getting a lot easier for some convicted felons in California.

Faced with a budget crisis and overcrowded prisons, California has relaxed restrictions for nonviolent criminals. They no longer face random drug tests, travel rules or requirements to check in with an officer, although they still must register their addresses with the prisons agency.

The law aims to shrink the prison population by reducing the number of minor parole violations that send ex-cons back to prison.

About 24,000 nonviolent ex-cons are expected to qualify.

COLORADO

Home detention for balloon boy dad

FORT COLLINS — The Colorado man who pleaded guilty to falsely influencing the sheriff by saying his son had floated off in a runaway balloon is completing his sentence at home.

Larimer County sheriff’s spokeswoman Eloise Campanella said Wednesday that Richard Heene finished his time in jail and with a work-release unit. He was moved earlier this month to home detention and is wearing an ankle monitor.

Mr. Heene started serving a 90-day sentence Jan. 11. His wife, Mayumi, pleaded guilty to filing a false report and must serve 20 days in prison.

Sheriff’s officials say the couple’s report Oct. 15 that their young son had floated away in a UFO-shaped helium balloon was a hoax.

DELAWARE

Doctor pleads not guilty in molestations

GEORGETOWN — A Delaware pediatrician accused of molesting more than 100 of his patients has pleaded not guilty to more than 470 criminal charges.

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