(12/13/2002)
An Upper Big Run resident will be charged today with battery and brandishing a weapon, over a conflict with a Braxton County logger.

Deputy Sheriff Carl Ballengee said Ralph Hightower, 58, apparently accosted Eric Backus, a foreman for Lang Brothers, who had begun a timber operation in a hollow near Hightower's resident.

The incident developed Wednesday before noon in an area off Nicut Road, a few miles from Route 16 at Orma.

Hightower reportedly was upset, claiming Lang Brother's was destroying his access road.

Ballengee said witnesses reported Hightower struck Backus in the chest and "was pointing a gun around."

Hightower claimed the logging operation was tearing up his private road, while other parties said the road was a "state highway."

The operation began a few days ago on property owned by Darrell McCumbers.

Grantsville policemen Steve Husk retrieved a stolen license plate belonging to Raymond Atkinson of Spencer during a Wednesday traffic stop. The plate was reportedly attached to a vehicle from Kanawha County. No other information available.


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