Madison superintendent Rob Peterson

Rob Peterson, a 1986 Madison graduate, is the district superintendent.

Madison supt. watching school stats before deciding on masks:

Newark woman set 7 records in 1964 worldwide flight:

Family-friendly fall activities are among many autumn events in Richland County:

Knox Pages:

Elder Ronald Darvin Edwards:

You're listening to Source Daily. Join us Monday through Friday to stay up to date with what's happening in North Central Ohio. We’ll be sharing a closer look at one of our top stories, along with other news, local history, memorials, answers to your questions, and more. Today - Madison superintendent Rob Peterson will study the district's absentees and COVID cases while he weighs a decision on masking.

Over the next two weeks, Peterson will monitor the number of positive cases for the COVID-19 virus in students and staff within the Madison Local School District. He’ll also keep track of the absenteeism rate. If at any time in the next two weeks, positive cases show a "significant" increase and the absenteeism rates climb into the 25% range or higher, they’ll institute a temporary mask requirement in the Madison district. And Peterson will be able to implement this mask requirement without board approval. Then, if a temporary mask requirement is deemed necessary, the requirement would be reviewed at the next regular Board of Education meeting. 

This recommendation from Peterson was approved by the Madison Board of Education at Wednesday night's meeting. Only board member Melissa Walker voted against. But Peterson says the recommendation of the mask requirement is about one thing, and one thing only: keeping our children in an optimal learning environment, and keeping our teachers in an optimal teaching environment. That means face to face, in person learning.

Still, Madison South Elementary moved to remote learning from Sept. 15 to 21, while Madison Comprehensive High School and Middle School went remote from Sept. 9 through 17. Statewide, the spread of COVID-19 in school-aged children and whether to require masking in schools has been hotly contested. From Aug. 15 to Sept. 14, Ohio reported 29,823 school-aged kids ages 5 to 17 tested positive for COVID-19. And according to Gov. Mike DeWine nearly 58% of students are required to wear masks in public schools. 

Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, the medical director of infectious diseases at OhioHealth, also weighed in. He said keeping kids in school should remain a public health priority. However, to do that, schools must use every mitigation strategy available, including masking. A rough count estimated more than 60 people were in attendance at Wednesday's meeting. The majority of the crowd was unmasked, and only two of the five board members wore masks.

The board heard from 10 Madison residents during public comment. The next regular meeting of the Madison Board of Education is Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 4:30 p.m. in the Madison Middle School Auditoria.

Next, some local history. When you think of famous pilots from Ohio, what names come to mind? The Wright Brothers? Maybe Eddie Rickenbacker? Or Amelia Earhart? How about Columbus area pilot: Geraldine Mock?

In 1964, Jerrie Mock climbed into her plane, The Spirit of Columbus, started the engine and began a journey all the way around the world, making her the first female pilot to successfully circumnavigate the globe. Upon her return to Columbus, 5,000 people greeted her with applause. She had completed her trip and set seven records in the process.

Post-flight, Jerrie appeared on several television programs, was awarded a medal by President Lyndon B. Johnson and became the first woman honored with the Louis Bleriot silver medal by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale.

She also wrote a memoir, Three Eight Charlie. The Spirit of Columbus now resides at the Smithsonian, and a statue of Mock can be admired at Port Columbus. Mock died in 2014 at 88 years old, shortly after the 50th anniversary of her flight, leaving behind a legacy of spirit and determination.

Now, we’d like to take a moment to highlight a few upcoming events. First, Travel back in time at Malabar Farm for their Ohio Heritage Days. The event features educational displays, an 18th-century living history camp, crafts, primitives, Civil War demonstrations, antiques, wagon rides and antique tractors. It’s free and takes place this weekend. They’ll even have a barn dance from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday and archeological displays on Sunday. See you there! Also - The Haunted Carousel is coming up next week. This event will take place at Richland Carrousel Park from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1 - it’s a part of First Friday Fright festivities. During this time the carrousel will run backwards. Guests are encouraged to wear a costume to get a free ride. There will also be a costume contest with prizes!

Next, From KnoxPages. Knox Public Health is reactivating their COVID-19 call line in partnership with Knox Community Hospital. Due to a big spike in reported Covid cases, they’re aiming to help answer our community’s questions as quickly as possible. Ohio is lagging the national average in vaccination rates. In fact, only 9 states have done worse at vaccinating their populations. Just 53.8% of the population has received at least one dose… making our fellow neighbors more likely to face hospitalization and die from Coronavirus than in many other places around the nation.

Some of the common questions that can be answered on the call line:

--What to do if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19

--COVID-19 vaccine and testing information

And What to do next after testing positive for COVID-19? If there is a question that is more specific or needs to be directed to either KPH or KCH, the call line will do so to ensure the caller has their question answered. The phone number to call is 740-399-8014.

Finally, we’d like to take a moment to remember Elder Ronald Darvin Edwards.

He was born September 28, 1938 in Dickenson County, Virginia and after graduating high school, he proudly served his country by joining the US Army. A beautiful young lady named Nancy Belcher caught his eye and the pair married in December of 1958. Ronald worked at GM in the WEMR Department until he retired in 1993. He was a member at Marlboro Primitive Baptist Church.

Ronald enjoyed hunting, and was especially great at turkey calls. He enjoyed garage sales and finding a good deal. Above all else he enjoyed his time spent as a minister and his church services will be remembered by many. He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, children, grandchildren, sisters and brother, and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family. Thank you for taking a moment to remember and celebrate Ronald’s life.

Thanks for listening, join us again tomorrow! Also, make sure to head over to and click be a member button to help support independent local journalism that informs and inspires. Every contribution goes to helping us make Richland County a better place and to help keep our journalism free. 


Support Our Journalism

Our content is free and always will be - but we rely on your support to sustain it. Become a member starting at $5 per month.

Make sure you don't miss this:

Make sure you don't miss this: