Candidate backs off stance on Oklahoma militia

OKLAHOMA CITY — A Republican candidate for Oklahoma governor who endorsed the idea of a state citizen militia is retreating from his earlier position that the force would be used to oppose the federal government.

State Sen. Randy Brogdon said Tuesday that a militia would instead be used as an auxiliary state force during emergencies because the Oklahoma National Guard falls under federal control.

Brogdon was among some members of the Oklahoma Legislature and tea party leaders who had said creating a new volunteer militia could help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.

W.Va. asks former fed to investigate mine

CHARLESTON, W.Va. —Gov. Joe Manchin on Tuesday asked a former top federal mine safety official to independently investigate an explosion that killed 29 West Virginia miners, and also called for more scrutiny of mines with a history of safety violations.

Manchin told the Associated Press that J. Davitt McAteer, who headed the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration during the Clinton administration, will probe the blast at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine.

McAteer's probe will be independent of separate state and federal investigations, and he'll focus on what actions should be taken to prevent such explosions.

Missing Fla. girl found safe after four days

WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. —A missing 11-year-old central Florida girl with Asperger syndrome was found alive on Tuesday, four days after she disappeared into an alligator-infested swamp a half-mile from her suburban home.

Nadia Bloom was taken to a hospital in nearby Longwood, Fla., where she will be evaluated and treated for dehydration and insect bites, said Winter Springs Police Chief Kevin Brunelle.

"If I never believed in miracles, I sure do now," Brunelle said during an afternoon news conference.