AROUND THE COUNTY
Legion Post 198 not holding public observances
American Legion Post 198 of Pawhuska will place flags at the graves of veterans prior to Memorial Day, which is Monday, May 25, and the Legion post will send a small group to the cemetery on the holiday for a brief observance, but there will be no public ceremonies this year.
Post Vice Commander Jim Trumbly said “Taps” will be played and there will be a 21-gun salute on the holiday, but it will not be a public event.
Post Adjutant Danny Mooney explained that out of an abundance of caution, public ceremonies will not be held due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE
The state has provided a guide to filing for benefits
The full Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) application form is now available. PUA is unemployment insurance for those who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits, including:
— gig workers, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals;
— workers whose regular unemployment benefits have expired who were laid off, furloughed, or are otherwise out of work due to the pandemic;
— and those denied unemployment insurance benefits or whose benefits have been exhausted.
Please see the information below to ensure your PUA application is received and processed successfully.
YOU MUST FIRST APPLY FOR AND BE DENIED REGULAR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS BEFORE APPLYING FOR PUA.
If you have been denied regular unemployment and need to apply for PUA, visit https://ui.ok.gov and create an account.
Check your email and click on the link to activate your account.
Sign in and create your profile. You can check the status of your application without re-entering your personal information each time.
Click “Connect your SSN.” You’ll be prompted to enter your Social Security Number twice.
After successfully connecting your SSN, click “complete” to check your claim status.
Click “View Your Unemployment Claim Status.”
As your claim is processed, those changes will be reflected in real time.
WHAT TO HAVE READY WHEN FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT OR PUA
Proof of Employment
If you are WORKER/EMPLOYEE/CONTRACT LABORER (not self-employed), you MUST submit documentation verifying that you were working or scheduled to start work at the time of the Pandemic by one or more of the methods below:
—Pay stub or voucher;
—Written Statement from your employer;
—Notarized Statement from a co-worker.
—A letter from the potential employer (The letter must include the name and address of the employer, contact name and number, reason for not starting, and start date, hours and duration of the job).
If you were SELF-EMPLOYED, and became unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you MUST provide documentation substantiating your business at the time of the COVID-19 related business closure by one or more of the methods below:
—Recent bank records;
—Phone, utility, or insurance bill;
—Sales tax return;
—State or Federal Employer Identification Number;
—Recent newspaper/phone book ad for your business;
—Property titles, deeds, or rental agreement for the place of business;
—Or a letter or rental agreement showing you were going to open a business on or after the date of the pandemic.
Proof of Wages Documentation
If you were a WORKER/EMPLOYEE/CONTRACT LABORER, submit one or more of the methods listed below:
—A pay stub or earnings statement showing your total earnings for 2019;
—IRS Form W-2 from 2019 tax year;
—IRS Form 1099 from the 2019 tax year.
If you were SELF-EMPLOYED in a previously established business at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and filed a tax return on that business for calendar year 2019, you must provide a copy of your 2019 federal income tax forms.
If you are the SOLE PROPRIETOR, you must submit a Schedule C, Profit and Loss Statement.
If you are in a PARTNERSHIP, you must submit Schedule K-1, Partners Share of Income, Credits, and Deductions.
If you have a CORPORATION, you must submit form 1120, U.S. Corporation Tax Return.
If you DID NOT FILE a tax return for the year 2019, you MUST give OESC a statement to that fact.
OKLAHOMA BLOOD INSTITUTE
OBI collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) is collecting convalescent plasma from donors who have recovered from COVID-19, as part of an experimental initiative to use the product to treat seriously ill patients.
By creating the only statewide registry of available patients, Oklahoma Blood Institute can ensure local patients receive the donated products and have the best possible chance at fighting the illness.
“We’re excited to play our part in ensuring Oklahomans have access to all treatment options, including convalescent plasma,” said John Armitage, MD, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute.
Donors are encouraged to sign up for Oklahoma’s registry at: my.bio-linked.org. Bio-Linked allows users to submit confidential health and social information via a secure site and to list themselves as potential volunteers for medical research. Once qualified, plasma will be drawn, with each donor providing up to three therapeutic plasma doses.
“The Oklahoma State Medical Association is proud to have partnered with the Oklahoma Blood Institute to initiate this proactive program for our COVID-19 patients who may suffer from severe disease in the future,” said Larry A. Bookman, M.D., president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association.
To provide convalescent plasma, donors must be eligible to donate blood and meet the criteria below:
—Prior diagnosis of COVID-19, documented by a laboratory test;
—Present negative results for COVID-19, either from nasal swabs or a molecular (RNA or nucleic acid) diagnostic blood test;
—Symptom-free for 14 days prior to donation;
—If female, either no history of pregnancy or negative for HLA (tissue typing) antibodies.
COUNTY ELECTION OFFICE
Office to open its doors May 18
The Osage County Election Board office is among county offices closed to public access until Monday, May 18, by order of the county commissioners due to the COVID-19 health crisis.
The Osage County Election Board will, however, continue to conduct business as usual by phone, email, and mail. Business hours may be modified due to the unusual circumstances, but calls and emails will be returned in a timely manner. Voters who need to conduct business in person can call or email the Osage County Election Board to make special arrangements.
Until May 18, Election Board Secretary Kelly Chouteau said she can send a staff member outside the office to help voters who need assistance.
Voters can also visit the Oklahoma State Election Board website at elections.ok.gov for more information. Those who need to request absentee ballots or make changes to their registration can continue to do so online through the OK Voter Portal at elections.ok.gov/OVP.
The Osage County Election Board is located at 630 Kihekah Ave, Pawhuska. For more information, contact the County Election Board at 918-287-3036 or Osagecounty@elections.ok.gov.
Deadline is June 5 for June 30 elections
Friday, June 5, 2020, is the last day to apply for voter registration in order to be eligible to vote in the June 30, 2020, city of Pawhuska Municipal General, Bartlesville I30 Board of Education General, Woodland I90 Board of Education General, and county, state and federal primary elections, Osage County Election Board Secretary Kelly Chouteau said.
Chouteau said that persons who are United States citizens, residents of Oklahoma, and at least 18 years old may apply to become registered voters.
Persons who have never been registered to vote before or who are not currently registered in the county of their residence and persons who are registered but who need to change their registration information may apply by filling out and mailing an Oklahoma Voter Registration Application form in time for it to be postmarked no later than midnight Friday, June 5, 2020.
Chouteau explained that applications postmarked after that time will still be accepted and processed; however, the applications will not be approved until after June 30, 2020.
The County Election Board responds in writing to every person who submits an application for voter registration. The response is either a voter identification card listing the new voter’s precinct number and polling place location or a letter that explains the reason or reasons the application for voter registration was not approved. Chouteau said that any person who has submitted a voter registration application and who has not received a response within 30 days should contact the County Election Board office at (918) 287-3036 or email OsageCounty@elections.ok.gov.
Oklahoma Voter Registration Application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at 630 Kihekah Ave, Pawhuska, and at most post offices, tag agencies, and public libraries in the county. Chouteau said that applications also are available at our website www.osage.okcounties.org or the state website www.elections.ok.gov, and voters can check their registration status at www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Online_Voter_Tool/.
Voters are urged to apply early
Voters in Osage County who want to have absentee ballots mailed to them for the June 30, 2020, city of Pawhuska Municipal General, Bartlesville I30 Board of Education General, Woodland I90 Board of Education General, and county, state and federal primary elections should apply now, County Election Board Secretary Kelly Chouteau said. Although the County Election Board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, Chouteau urged voters who want to vote by absentee ballot to apply early.
Absentee ballot application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at 630 Kihekah Ave., Pawhuska, Oklahoma. An online version of the form can be filled out and submitted electronically at: www.elections.ok.gov. A print form can also be downloaded at that address.
Voters who have requested an absentee ballot can track their ballot at http://www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Online_Voter_Tool/.
Ballots must be in the hands of County Election Board officials by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.
Chouteau said any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he/she is eligible to vote. It is not necessary to give a reason for voting absentee.
“While anyone can vote absentee without giving a reason, the law still provides several excuses, and it is to the advantage of some voters to use one of them,” Chouteau said.
For more election-related information, call the Osage County Election Board at (918) 287-3036, e-mail at OsageCounty@elections.ok.gov or visit www.elections.ok.gov or www.osage.okcounties.org.