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.

This summer marks the 25th anniversary of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, but that doesn’t make it a same-old, same-old event, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Courtesy of leyruta.org

Today could be pivotal for the Harrisonburg man awaiting deportation to Mexico. An attorney for Cesar Lara Rios has filed a motion to reopen the case with the Board of Immigration Appeals.  WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz has this update.*

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Residents in Rockingham and Augusta Counties whose water comes from a well, spring, or cistern can learn more about the quality of their water through several upcoming Virginia Cooperative Extension Drinking Water Clinics.  WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Harrisonburg’s Cesar Lara Rios was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, on May 10, and last week ICE denied him another stay of removal. Now he is poised to be deported to Mexico, but his attorney has one remaining hope for enabling him to stay here, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Courtesy of Jennifer Murch

On Monday more than 75 people in Harrisonburg rallied outside the Department of Homeland Security office on Neff Avenue against a pending deportation. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

After serving two decades in prison for complicity to murder, Gregory Winship was granted parole, in 2010. Just a few days ago, in Harrisonburg, he became the first to receive a master’s degree in restorative justice from Eastern Mennonite University. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

NPR reported last week that President Trump’s travel ban is having a “chilling effect” on international student enrollment at universities across the country. In Harrisonburg, that’s also true when it comes to potential participants in peacebuilding coursework. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Sing Off!

Apr 6, 2017
Courtesy of Exit 245

Remember that 2012 Anna Kendrick movie, Pitch Perfect, about a capella singing groups facing off? This weekend in Harrisonburg, you can listen and watch in real life as 10 local community and university groups sing to win -- all for a good cause. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

It’s not so much a statement about the health care system, or a model for how it should be fixed. Instead, it’s more like a doctor just arrived at his own approach, sidestepping convention and filling a niche. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz visited the clinic of one general practitioner working outside the health insurance system.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Tuesday marked 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. gave what is considered his “most controversial speech” -- against the war in Vietnam. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports how some in Harrisonburg yesterday honored that message.

Jana Asenbrennerova/Courtesy of MCC

On Monday, the bodies of United Nations worker and Eastern Mennonite University graduate Michael Sharp, a Swedish colleague and their Congolese interpreter were found two weeks after they and their Congolese motorbike drivers went missing in the Democratic Republic of Congo. News of Sharp’s disappearance and death has stirred memories of his antics and mischievous ways, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Last Wednesday was International Women’s Day. To celebrate, local organizers held a march in Harrisonburg from the Rockingham County Administration Building to a rally at Court Square on Saturday. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz filed this report.

Courtesy of vasun.org

Home and business owners thinking about going solar can learn more about a cost-cutting and helpful option at several meetings in the Valley this week. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

This weekend, area protesters will again assemble in Harrisonburg and Staunton. But the protests will be less about resisting President Trump than they will be about something closer to home... or rather about bringing Congressman Bob Goodlatte closer to home for a visit. WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

A recent Brookings Institution report named Harrisonburg as one of the top ten communities in the United States in terms of the proportion of immigrants from the seven countries on President Trump’s temporary travel ban.  WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz spoke with several people in Harrisonburg whose lives and work are being affected by the recent turmoil in immigration and refugee policy.

Courtesy of Diane Lepkowski

Yesterday we brought you an account of trapping and banding a kestrel in the Shenandoah Valley Raptor Study Area. Today, WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz explores the current balancing act between human development and wildlife -- and asks about the long view.

Courtesy Jill Morrow

The American kestrel is North America’s smallest falcon, and across Virginia and other states, efforts are underway to study and save this raptor. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz accompanied one couple whose kestrel nesting boxes dot the countryside of northern Rockingham County.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In cities and airports across the nation this weekend protesters responded to the recent executive order signed by President Trump that bans immigrants from seven countries with Muslim majorities. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz filed these excerpts from what people had to say at a rally in Harrisonburg yesterday.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

High-end electric vehicles such as Tesla’s Models S and X are fast, powerful, glamorous -- and also expensive. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz wanted to know more about the view from inside a more subtle -- and affordable -- electric car.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Yesterday Republicans began the legislative process to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In Harrisonburg, citizens gathered to call for Congress to fix, not nix Obamacare, as it’s widely known. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Service dogs, you may be surprised to learn, are not necessarily professionally trained -- and they can assist people with a wide variety of disabilities, including post traumatic stress disorder. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

The recent and ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline protests at the Standing Rock reservation have drawn activists from around the country, including from Harrisonburg. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz filed this report about one local protester’s experience there.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Eastern Mennonite University has just begun offering an engineering degree -- but students are already making connections with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- better known as NASA. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Provided by Chief Bongiorno

This weekend a small number of police chiefs will come to Harrisonburg to discuss restorative justice best practices that aim to focus more on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large. That’s fitting, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

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.

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