Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Freelance Reporter

In addition to reporting for WMRA about the greater Harrisonburg region, Christopher Clymer Kurtz commutes by bicycle whenever he can, helps his young kids clean up their endless creativity scenes, and writes, plays guitar, and sings for his original rock band.

A graduate of Eastern Mennonite University’s social work and James Madison University’s English master’s programs, Christopher has dabbled in blogging, photography, and newspaper journalism, taught middle school English for 12 years, and now is a staff writer for Eastern Mennonite University.

He resides near Linville, Virginia and can be reached by email at christopher@clymerkurtz.com.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Unused land within city limits has potential, and some community organizers have begun turning one such area in Harrisonburg into a place of social and ecological restoration. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In accordance with President Trump’s ending of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, Thursday, October 5, 2017, is the last day that some eligible DREAMers, also called “DACAmented” residents, can apply for renewal of their DACA status. While Congress is working out what to do, many of these young people are anxious about their options. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz spoke with two students at James Madison University, and filed this report.

Peggy Brubaker

This Saturday [Sept. 30], the 20th International Festival in Harrisonburg will again include Aztec dancing as part of the celebration of the city’s cultural and language diversity. The dancers are led by a Harrisonburg couple who are working to keep alive the Aztec traditions in their Mexican roots, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Forty years ago, bald eagles were in danger of extinction, but they’ve made a rebound, and theirs is considered an “Endangered Species Act success story.” But as they spread across Virginia in search of new habitat, they are finding some free lunches that are actually quite costly. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Across Virginia this week people gathered at offices of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, to voice their concerns and demands about the proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast natural gas pipelines. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz attended Thursday’s [Sept. 14] gathering just outside of Harrisonburg at the Valley Regional DEQ Office.

leyruta.org

In May [2017], Harrisonburg’s Cesar Lara Rios was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, and appeared to be set for deportation to Mexico. But his attorney made one more attempt to prevent that from happening, and over the weekend learned of the rare outcome, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

In Harrisonburg, City Council may soon decide whether to accept a new proposal to provide animal sheltering services for the city, with lower euthanasia rates promised, and for about $50,000 less than the contract the city has with the Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA.  But what might Rockingham County do if the city decides to switch shelter services?  WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Growing and processing hemp is against the law in the United States. But 6th District Representative Bob Goodlatte wants to see industrial hemp become a legal crop for farmers, and a JMU professor is developing that potential option. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

A recent report by The Sentencing Project says that nearly one in every seven people in prison is serving what effectively amounts to a life sentence. Twenty years ago, a book of photos and interviews of nearly 60 lifers in Pennsylvania prisons, where a life sentence really means a life sentence, gave rare insight into their lives and thoughts.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Earlier this year, the Harrisonburg City Council received an unsolicited proposal from Anicira Veterinary Center to take over animal sheltering services for the city, which the Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA has provided for both the city and Rockingham County for decades. In July, the city opened a bidding period for the contract, and that period ended yesterday [August 31, 2017]. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Since at least back to 2000, local nonprofits have not had to pay the $52-per-ton dumping fee at the Rockingham County Landfill. Next year, however, they will need to pay. For some, that change could hurt, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Courtesy Shanil Virani

Don’t worry! If you’ve not made plans to travel to see the solar eclipse on Monday [August 21] from the path of totality, you can still enjoy it from right here in the Valley. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

On Monday (Aug. 7) at James Madison University, several hundred people attended the first of five public hearings across the state to be held by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, about the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion Energy says the pipeline, set to cross Virginia, will create lots of jobs, provide much-needed domestic and “clean burning” natural gas, and more.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Deanna Reed’s four-year term on Harrisonburg's City Council began this year. She says she never planned to run for office -- but now she's the mayor.  In the second installment of WMRA's Women of Interest series, Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Since 1988, an organization called  Church World Service has resettled about 3,500 refugees from around the world to the Shenandoah Valley. This month the Harrisonburg office is hosting a photography exhibit featuring 29 portraits of these refugees. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

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