Solvejg Wastvedt

former Education Reporter/Trainer

Solvejg Wastvedt grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Before coming to WSKG, she was the NPR West National Desk intern in Los Angeles. She has also worked at the Minneapolis community radio station KFAI. When she isn't reporting the news, Solvejg enjoys running and exploring hiking trails. Solvejg left WSKG in 2016. Here's her personal website.

Pete Jelliffe / Flickr

Tompkins County commercial property owners can learn tonight about a low-cost way to improve their energy efficiency. The Energize New York program has an information session at 5:30 p.m. in The Space at Ithaca’s GreenStar Market. 

Matt Ryan / New York NOW

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is ordering local governments to move people who are homeless to shelter during cold weather. The executive order reinforces existing law that requires authorities to take people in for psychiatric evaluation, or hospitalization. Despite the announcement, local experts say it won’t have much effect in the Southern Tier.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

Recent college grads in New York can now get some help paying off their loans with the state’s new student loan forgiveness program.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce wants people to come home for the holidays – and stay home. 

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

Adjunct faculty at Wells College in Aurora, New York took a big step toward unionizing last week. Organizers filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board. At an election, adjuncts would vote “yes” or “no” to a union.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

    

It’s a time of educational upheaval in New York. Changes are piling up fast: the state Board of Regents delayed state tests’ impact on teacher evaluations, and Governor Cuomo’s task force called for nearly two dozen changes to learning standards. In the midst of it all, here are three things you need to know.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

New York is getting ready for big changes to child care regulations. New federal rules say child care centers have to start fingerprinting employees and increase requirements for background checks, training, and annual inspections, among other changes. State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo expects the rules to take effect next year. She says they’re welcome but have a high price tag.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

“Community college” used to equal “commuter school.” Students came to class during the day and went home at night. Now that’s changing: a 2013 report from the American Association of Community Colleges found that a quarter of campuses now have on-campus housing, and with it a 24-hour schedule that creates some security challenges.   

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

 

  

A large majority of Ithaca College faculty voted “no confidence” in college President Tom Rochon in a vote that concluded last week. Results were announced Monday. 

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

The run-up to elections can be a tricky time for schools. Rhetoric heightens, and teachers often struggle with how much of it to address in class.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

Republican Congressman Tom Reed of Corning says new House reforms to the U.S.’s visa waiver program are a much-needed update.

“It closes a potential risk that is legitimately there in regards to terrorists being able to come to those 38 countries [and] into America,” Reed says.

Reed voted “yes” on the bill Tuesday, as did Republican Richard Hanna of Utica and Albany-area Republican Christopher Gibson. The House passed the bill 407-19.

Michael Forster-Rotbart / SUNY Oneonta

SUNY Oneonta is giving its adjunct professors a raise, to a starting salary of $3,000 per course. Adjuncts nationwide work under short-term contracts and make notoriously low salaries. Oneonta’s move comes after its adjuncts petitioned the administration earlier this year.

NazarethCollege / Flickr

U.S. Representative Tom Reed of Corning has joined the throngs of Republicans rejecting Donald Trump’s comments about Muslims.

redjar / Flickr

A school merger that aimed to combine the Elmira Heights and Horseheads districts is off the table after residents overwhelmingly rejected the proposition Thursday. In Elmira Heights, Superintendent Mary Beth Fiore says three quarters of the ballots came up “no”.

“Clearly there was a desire to preserve the small school atmosphere in spite of some of the challenges that we’re faced with,” she says.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is backpedaling remarks he made today about embattled Attorney General Kathleen Kane, according to the Associated Press. Wolf has called for Kane’s resignation since August, when she was indicted on perjury and other criminal counts.

"Time on Test" / The Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz

Changes to New York standardized testing are in the air. Governor Cuomo’s Common Core Task Force finished its public sessions last month examining the state’s standards and testing program, and Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has already pledged to shorten math and English Language Arts (ELA) exams. 

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

Students at Ithaca College concluded a confidence vote on college president Tom Rochon yesterday. Rochon has faced criticism over his handling of recent racial incidents and accusations of top-down leadership.

A crowd of about 100 gathered in a ballroom on campus to hear student body president Dominick Recckio deliver the news.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

Ithaca College students release the results of a confidence vote in their college president Monday, and the college faculty hold their own vote next month. President Tom Rochon has faced criticism and protests for his handling of racial incidents and what some call top-down leadership. He spoke to WSKG’s Solvejg Wastvedt about how the college has responded and what he’s learned. Here are the highlights:

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

The Binghamton City School District’s new MacArthur Elementary building is set to open Monday. The school was destroyed by a flood in 2011.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

Roxanne Mourhess says the milk trucks roll by her antique store every day. The store is a 150-year-old former church on the main drag in Campbell, New York, a small town near Corning. The store is just down the street from the weathered, light blue grocery store. In the other direction, a Kraft plant puffs out steam by the railroad tracks. Mourhess couldn’t believe it when she heard last month that the plant was slated for closure. 

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

Faculty at Ithaca College plan to hold a "teach-in" Thursday to call for college president Tom Rochon’s resignation. It’s the latest in a string of protests by faculty and students.

The Horseheads area meets tonight to weigh a school merger with the Elmira Heights Central School District. It’s the last community input session before an initial vote on Dec. 3. Elmira Heights Superintendent Mary Beth Fiore explained the benefits of merging in a meeting in her district last week.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

College campuses around the country saw protests this week – Ithaca College among them. Students and faculty there are holding referendums on President Tom Rochon’s leadership. Results from a student confidence vote will come out November 30, and faculty voting begins on that day. Here’s what you need to know about what’s at stake:

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

Ithaca College faculty will start voting Nov. 30 on a “no confidence” resolution for college president Tom Rochon. The voting lasts through Dec. 11. Results will be reported to the Board of Trustees, Faculty Council, all faculty and President Rochon by Dec. 14.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG

Just days after protests at the University of Missouri caused the system president’s resignation, protesters at Ithaca College are calling for their president to step down. Like Missouri, the Ithaca movement has been years in the making. The protesters say President Tom Rochon fails to address racial incidents and is leading the college in the wrong direction.

Charles Compton / WSKG

Republican Stephen Cornwell will soon be Broome County's new District Attorney. He emerged victorious in the tight race after absentee ballots were counted on Tuesday.

Elizabeth Albert / Flickr

Parents and community members will have a chance to share their opinions on New York's Common Core standards tonight. Binghamton University is hosting one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s regional public forums.

The forum is the first presence in the Southern Tier for Cuomo’s Common Core task force. Cuomo created the task force in September, following a massive spring boycott of state tests. It launched just after State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia started her own effort to review the standards. Elia is also serving on the governor’s panel.

Todd Rosenberg / Kraft Foods Group

The town of Campbell in Steuben County, New York has a strategy meeting Monday. Town officials are trying to come up with a plan to save the local Kraft Foods plant, which supplies nearly 400 jobs in the small community.

Charles Compton / WSKG

The Southern Tier’s special state senate election went Republican in a landslide Tuesday night. Fred Akshar beat Democrat Barbara Fiala by about 56 percentage points. Today political theorists are wondering what that means for next year’s presidential race and other local contests.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse and seven district attorneys announced a new agreement on handling of sexual abuse cases Wednesday. The memorandum of understanding requires the diocese to report all abuse claims directly to the appropriate DA, whether they involve current or former clergy. Onondaga District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick introduced the agreement.

“There is no potential offender who is presenting any danger to any child in central New York,” he said.

Pages