Outdoors reporter Brad Dokken checks in with the Koochiching County Board in northern Minnesota. The group voted Tuesday morning to close its four county-owned boat ramps on the Rainy River until further notice in an effort to discourage anglers from flocking to the border river during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During Tuesday's meeting, Lake of the Woods County commissioner Jon Waibel said limiting the crowds that typically converge on the Rainy River for the spring season isn’t an anti-fishing action.

“People are scared and people are mad,” said Waibel, adding that the move is meant to encourage people to stay home during the pandemic. “People have to understand, it’s not that we don’t want them here. We just don’t want an influx here now.”

Meanwhile, reporter Joe Bowen has reported that coronavirus concerns already prompted East Grand Forks leaders to declare a citywide health emergency last week. On Tuesday, it pushed them to declare an early flood emergency, too.

Herald journalist Hannah Shirley will push the story one step further as she delves into the latest details of impending spring flooding.

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Dokken will also report on Devils Lake tourism promoters who have put advertising plans on hold and changing marketing strategy to a “tourism within” focus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Look for these stories in print and online on Wednesday and Thursday.