Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital


Performances scheduled for Aug. 8-9

Dance Maker Academy will hold its Spring Performances later than planned this year because of COVID-19. Performances will be Aug. 8-9 at the Constantine Theater in Pawhuska.

Dance Maker will be performing variations from Swan Lake at what was to be their 6th Annual Spring Performance at the Constantine. Due to COVID-19 it was necessary to change the dates. Dance Maker will have additional performances to adhere to safe social distancing standards.

Audience members will be seated with their families and seating will be on every other row of chairs. Keeping six-foot distancing, everyone will be ushered in and out. Final student pick up will be in the parking lot behind the theater.

Performances are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9. Tickets for the performances are $5 for adults and $2 for children. Videos of the performances will be available for purchase one week following the performances.

The Pawhuska and surrounding communities have embraced the academy since it opened in the spring of 2014 and have come to realize the significance and importance of the life skills that are taught at the academy alongside the dance instruction. The students attending the academy not only learn to dance, they also learn how to give back to their communities through their art, as well as the importance of hard work, discipline and commitment.

Jenna LaViolette, Director of Dance at Dance Maker Academy, received her ballet training in Atlanta, Georgia, and the North Carolina School of the Arts. She is a graduate of Oral Roberts University’s dance program. In 2012 she choreographed Wahzhazhe, an Osage Ballet that tells the extraordinary history of the Osage people. She produced The Nutcracker Ballet in 2017 in Pawhuska, Oklahoma which premiered at the Constantine Theater. Jenna is a recipient of the Dreamstarter Grant from Running Strong for American Indian Youth, which she used to take dance into the local public schools.

Students require community support whether through donations, audience attendance, volunteers who help with costumes and staging, or even giving the students rides to classes. Community involvement along with Legacy Scholarship donations from individuals and businesses allow students to flourish and realize dreams that some did not even know they had.

LaViolette expresses gratitude to all Dance Maker Academy sponsors on behalf of the student recipients. Donors include the Osage Nation Foundation, Osage Casinos, Running Strong for American Indian Youth, Artists of Indian America, Will and Anne Baker, Jr., Jerry and Marlene Mosley, The Oklahoma Arts Council and many other organizations and individuals.

If you are interested in being a Legacy Scholarship sponsor, please visit the website:, email, visit the academy: 400 Palmer Avenue Pawhuska, OK 74056, or call Dance Maker at 918-704-4668.


Reading activities continue, including contests

Summer Reading continues at Pawhuska Public Library. Activities are in place for the remainder of July, and for August:

• Story Time continues through Aug. 13 on Thursday mornings, 10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Stories and crafts will be offered. The library has prizes and books to give to story time participants!

• The Oklahoma City Zoo “Read for Adventure” contest began July 8: check out the book “Juniper’s Butterfly Garden.” When the book is returned, the child receives 4 free passes to the OKC Zoo. Passes may be used for kids, adults, or seniors.

• Pawhuska Public Library now subscribes to The Oklahoman newspaper’s Sunday issue! Students 5 – 12 years of age may participate in The Oklahoman’s Summer Reading contest: Find the answer to the weekly question, and get your name in a drawing for a set of books!

Major sponsors of Summer Reading are the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sonic Corporation, The Oklahoman, and the OKC Zoo.


State health department offers COVID-19 risk level tool

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) on July 9 launched a new COVID-19 alert system that offers the public and local elected officials a clear method to recognize and communicate the current COVID-19 risk level in each county and to guide health behaviors.

The Oklahoma COVID-19 Alert System is a four-tiered risk measurement tool with corresponding color categories that identify the current COVID-19 risk level by county.

“This new COVID-19 alert system marries OSDH’s robust data reporting with additional public health steps that should be considered county by county to confront elevated risks of community spread,” said Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye, M.D. “The color-coded system is an easy way for business owners, local leaders, and the public to know at a glance when extra precautions should be taken.”

Each color category is based on daily new cases per 100,000 persons. The color-coded county map will be updated every Friday as part of the agency’s 11 a.m. Situation Media Advisory and will be based on the 7-day rolling average:

Green: 0 1.43 daily new cases per 100,000 persons;

Yellow: 43 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 persons;

Orange: > 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 persons;

Red: > 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 persons, plus one of four additional gates triggered.

OSDH will deem a county as in a high-risk phase if the county is reporting more than 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 and one or more of the four thresholds occur in the state within a given week.

Statewide ICU threshold: Percent of ICU beds available 5% statewide;

Statewide Medical/Surgical threshold: Percent of medical surgery beds available 5% statewide;

Statewide Ventilator threshold: Percent of ventilators available 5% statewide;

Facility PPE threshold: Average days of PPE on hand and available 5 days statewide.

The state will work with local officials in red counties on a remediation plan.

The red phase is triggered when additionally assessing statewide health system capacity definitions, assumptions and plans in the Oklahoma Hospital Surge Planning Toolkit, and with assessing numbers based on hospitals’ bed capacity at 100%. This status indicates statewide, systemic challenges and pressures on the healthcare system resulting from COVID-19.

This new alert system is subject to further revisions. Guidance for each risk category is available for individuals, businesses, high-risk individuals, and children on the COVID-19 dashboard at


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: 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 positive 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.