Saturday, July 19th, 2008
By Margie Wuebker
158 cited at concert
More than 160 country music fans took home more than sunburns and pleasant memories from the 28th annual Country Concert at Hickory Hill Lakes near Fort Loramie. The event, which reportedly drew 80,000 fans to the four-day event, was held July 10-13.
Undercover agents from the Ohio Investigative Unit made no secret they would be on the grounds as part of a weekend liquor enforcement efforts, issuing the message - "If you are going to Country Concert, don't drink." Apparently some concertgoers failed to heed the message.
A total of 158 young people under the age of 21 received citations for underage drinking, an increase from 137 arrests made in 2007. Previous numbers were 132 in 2006 and 117 in 2005.
There were six arrests for falsification, two for furnishing alcohol to underage drinkers and 10 for prohibitive acts, the nature of which was not reported. In addition, law enforcement officers made one arrest for each of the following charges - disorderly conduct, drug abuse, possession of drug paraphernalia and underage possession of tobacco.
Adults receiving arrest citations appeared before Sidney Municipal Court Judge Donald Luce later in the week.
"Our mission is to educate the public while keeping people safe," said Cathy Collins-Taylor, executive director of the Ohio Investigative Unit, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) that enforces local, state and federal laws with emphasis on liquor and tobacco offenses. "The Country Concert staff and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office were great partners as we all worked to ensure everyone had a safe and enjoyable weekend."
The effort was made in conjunction with the department's 100 Days of Summer Program geared toward education and enforcement.
Security officers on duty throughout the concert reported no major problems except for some scuffles on Friday night. Sheriff's deputies also indicated there were no major problems during the weekend.
The Lima-Allen County Paramedic Service provided first aid on the grounds as well as ambulance service for those needing emergency room treatment. Supervisor Jennifer Pierce reported people came to their tent for overconsumption of alcohol, sunburn and dehydration. Following drenching rain on Saturday, some patients came with cuts, scrapes and bruises received while sliding in the mud.
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