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Beach party busted near Hickman, but tickets are for booze, not crowd violations
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Beach party busted near Hickman, but tickets are for booze, not crowd violations

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Wagon Train

Wagon Train Lake

State officers broke up a gathering of teens who were drinking and not socially distancing on the beach at Wagon Train Lake near Hickman.

A state trooper responded to a request for help from a Game and Parks officer late Thursday afternoon, said Cody Thomas, a Nebraska State Patrol spokesman.

“It was a call about a large party, but we didn’t cite anybody for violating health measures,” Thomas said. “Basically, when he got there, everybody ran.”

Parks still open, but state closing offices, lodges, visitor centers

Instead, even after most of the group scattered at the sight of the officers, the trooper managed to ticket three minors for possessing alcohol. And Thomas believes the conservation officer also wrote a citation, though Game and Parks officials could not be reached to confirm that Friday.

State parks and recreation areas remain open for day use during the pandemic, though the Game and Parks Commission has closed the state’s lodges, cabins and roughly 11,000 campsites until at least May 8. The commission has also encouraged the 6-foot social distancing guideline in its parks and other properties.

State of Nebraska closing nearly 11,000 campsites because of coronavirus

Gov. Pete Ricketts issued the first directed health measure — which includes an enforceable 10-person limits on public gatherings — on March 18 for Cass, Douglas and Sarpy counties. By April 3, the measure applied to all 93 counties.

But Thomas said, as far as he knows, troopers have not issued any citations for violations of the governor’s orders.

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Nebraska beaches

Reach the writer at 402-473-7254 or psalter@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSPeterSalter

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