Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Freelance Reporter

Along with teaching seventh grade English now for more than a decade, Christopher Clymer Kurtz writes music, plays guitar, and sings for his alternative pop/rock band, commutes by bicycle whenever he can, helps his young kids clean up their endless play area disasters, and writes occasional feature stories for WMRA.

A graduate of Eastern Mennonite University’s social work and James Madison University’s English MA programs, Christopher has dabbled in radio, creative writing, photography, and newspaper journalism.

He lives near Linville, Virginia.

As Virginians voted on Election Day, WMRA heard from some of them at polling places around our region.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In Virginia, as in most other states, the retail selling of unpasteurized milk is illegal. However, it is legal in the state for cow owners to drink raw milk from cows they own. Whether or not drinking raw milk is a good idea or should be a matter of personal choice depends on whom you ask, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Since it opened in 1936, Shenandoah National Park has welcomed an average of well over a million and a half visitors each year. Many of them may not know of the park’s painful past. One avid hiker who researched and wrote about that past calls her book a “broken-hearted love song to the park,” as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Courtesy Ben Bowman

Recent news reports about bears may give the impression that encounters between humans and bears are increasing in number. Whatever the case may be, humans bear a responsibility in that mix, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and as nights are getting longer, one Harrisonburg family is raising spirits with a symbol of hope: sunflowers. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

According to the FBI, from 2000 until 2013 in the United States, 486 people were killed in 160 active shooter situations, defined as when a shooting is in progress and “law enforcement personnel and citizens have the potential to affect the outcome of the event based upon their responses.” Last week in Harrisonburg, various local law enforcement and emergency agencies practiced responding to such a situation. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz attended, and filed this report. A note of caution: While the scenario you are about to hear is staged, it also can be frightening.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

The global craze over the new augmented reality game Pokémon GO, which was released in the U.S. early this month, has also caught on in the Valley. On a recent hot afternoon, players were out and about in Harrisonburg, smartphones in hand, willingly sharing their personal information in exchange for fun. WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Over the years the push for biking and walking paths connecting neighborhoods and schools in Harrisonburg has grown; they’ve come to be expected in the city’s planning. But progress has a lot of moving parts including cost, engineering concerns, and reluctant landowners, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Courtesy Doah Fest 2015

We are well into music festival season this summer, but there’s one you may not have heard about. It’s Doah Fest, near Luray. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Maybe you’ve seen one around--it wouldn’t be surprising. It’s the season in Virginia for nuisance bear activity, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Virginia’s wind resources are largely untapped, but a two-day symposium next week at James Madison University aims to stimulate dialogue about and facilitate development of this energy source. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

For refugees trying to establish themselves in a strange land, just like for the rest of us, reliable transportation can be the key to landing a job, or simply being independent. One Harrisonburg bicycling enthusiast is not only teaching refugees how to ride bikes; she is also providing them with their own bicycles. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz attended the most recent class and has this report.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In January the government’s new definition of “chronically homeless” took effect. The agency says this new definition, which has been years in the making, will aid in eliminating chronic homelessness by 2017, two years after an earlier deadline for that same goal. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports that when it comes to defining chronic homelessness, however, little seems definite.

This year in Harrisonburg, April 23 will have a new name: Larry Hoover Day. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

If you like food, or beer, or wine, or live music, arts and crafts vendors, or supporting a local charity just by having a fun time in a beautiful place on a warm, sunny day… then Saturday, April 16th is going to be right down your alley. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz has the story.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In a world of polarized religion and politics, forming authentic relationships across faith boundaries can be a challenge. Yesterday we heard about local religious groups supporting each other at an institutional level; today, WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz looks at one Harrisonburg family’s personal embrace of two faith traditions.

For millennia, people have used religion to divide, as well as unite. Current national rhetoric and hateful discourse stemming from fears of terrorism has often equated Islam, the religion of a quarter of the world’s population, with a slippery enemy. But this negativity is far from universal. In this first of a two-part series about local interfaith relationships, WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports that over the years many people and churches in Harrisonburg have reached out to show support for minority religious communities.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

Virginia gave Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump victories in the state's primary Tuesday.  (Results here.)  Voters expressed excitement, fear, and civic duty -- and some brought the kids along -- for Virginia's open primary election, part of Super Tuesday voting.  WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz, Jessie Knadler, and Emily Richardson-Lorente talked with polling officials and voters to get a sense of turnout, and of what's on voters' minds this election season.

The Virginia Department of Health has confirmed three cases of Zika virus disease in the state. Just over a month ago McGaheysville’s Heather Baker learned she was Virginia’s first. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz called Heather last week, for an update.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In just a few weeks, Zika has gone from being a little known virus to a rather infamous one. The disease, new to the Western Hemisphere last year, is being closely watched internationally, and the World Health Organization has declared its spread a global public health emergency. Just last week, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the first case of the Zika virus disease here in Virginia, in McGaheysville. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

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