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

A group of religious organizations in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County is advocating for criminal justice reform at the local level.  And they hope that government officials will find the solutions easy enough to put in place soon.  WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In Northeast Harrisonburg, a group is working to restore a house built by formerly enslaved people. The house survived urban development in the mid-1900s, and will be the site for a museum about the community’s history. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

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The Harrisonburg Community Health Center serves a diverse community – and now also offers prenatal care for women, including those who are undocumented and uninsured. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz visited the Center, and filed this report.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Getting kids to eat fresh produce might seem like an uphill battle, but in Harrisonburg schools, there’s some thought going into helping students know, grow and eat their fruits and veggies. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

As some Puerto Rico residents struggle to recover from last year's Hurricanes Irma and Maria, a group of concerned citizens in Harrisonburg are hoping to fight climate change through humanitarian action – with a benefit concert this Friday [April 20, 2018]. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

On Tuesday [April 10] the Harrisonburg City Council voted unanimously to decline an animal sheltering services proposal from Anicira Veterinary Center – and expressed hope for new collaboration. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Several protesters at a march Wednesday at Cargill in Dayton were arrested for trespassing when they tried to deliver a petition in support of workers they say were fired by the company for exercising their rights to organize. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

This Saturday [April 7], community members interested in the process of becoming naturalized citizens can learn more at an information session at Blue Ridge Community College. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and WMRA is presenting a six-part series about this increasingly prevalent developmental disorder. Today, we look at the educational system’s approach to students with autism. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

David Sobel

This week [April 3-4] a promoter of “place-based education” is coming to Harrisonburg to meet with current and future teachers. On Tuesday he’ll also give a keynote address that’s open to the public, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

This week on Wednesday, one month after a shooter killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies are slated to walk out of school to demand that Congress pass legislation to address gun violence. A number of schools in the area are recognizing that walkout and call – in their own ways, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In January, after WMRA aired a report about panhandlers, many listeners wanted to know more about the services available to them, and about the best way to respond or help. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz took those questions to some of the people working on the front lines.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In the week before Christmas, the Harrisonburg Police Department sent out officers with cash, to play Secret Santa and spread holiday cheer one one-hundred dollar bill at a time. One recipient said that earlier in the day she had prayed for money – and we wanted to know how getting it has impacted her. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Courtesy of John Billings

At the ripe young age of 94, World War II pilot John Billings is still flying, and with a copilot friend, transporting medical patients to treatments. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

David Kreider via Facebook

Local activists and union organizers have filed a charge against Cargill in Dayton for retaliating against employees because of their union activities. They say that Cargill is not living up to its own code of conduct. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

2016 photo by Christopher Clymer Kurtz

This week advocates for alternative transportation fuels gathered in Washington, D.C. to network and meet with Congressional staff and other officials. Harrisonburg’s Alleyn Harned was there and spoke with WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Dairy farmers are facing hard times due to a flooded milk market and low prices. At the same time, many hungry families lack quality protein in their diets. Now some congregations in Harrisonburg are hoping to help alleviate both problems with one ministry: cheese. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Maybe you’ve been seeing more of them: panhandlers out asking for money from drivers stopped at red lights in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, elsewhere. They often stand on medians at busy intersections – and embody an intersection of first amendment rights, public safety and social isolation, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Courtesy BRAFB

President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal last year called for a 25% cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.  As members of Congress talk about ways to cut the federal budget, one local food bank leader says that even a 10% cut would hurt those in need. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Often when police approach a person, it’s not a “Merry Christmas” sort of situation. But police departments around the country have started taking some time to play Santa – including in Harrisonburg, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

On Saturday [December 9, 2017] afternoon several dozen people gathered on Court Square in Harrisonburg to rally against current Republican attempts at tax reform. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

While cat advocates promote controlling feral cat populations through Trap-Neuter-Release, or TNR, one local expert is calling for regulation of this practice — and voicing his concerns about the harm to wildlife caused by outdoor pets and feral cats. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

This year Governor Terry McAuliffe signed legislation giving localities authority to regulate short-term rentals such as Airbnb. In Harrisonburg, those regulations of this currently illegal form of hospitality are taking shape. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Last week marked a year since the death of singer / songwriter Leonard Cohen. This Veteran’s Day in Harrisonburg, a tribute to Cohen sold out Pale Fire Brewing Company. Proceeds benefitted a Harrisonburg-based nonprofit called War Paints, which showcases and sells creative and artistic products by veterans and first responders.

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In June the Harrisonburg City School Board unanimously endorsed building a second high school for the city, to alleviate the overcrowding at Harrisonburg High School. Even as the city pursues that, a variety of voices are weighing in on what they want to see happen. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

This fall marks the start of something new at Shenandoah University in Winchester: A partnership between the university and a film and television production company. It’s starting off with the University as the set for an upcoming feature film starring Barry Bostwick and Jennifer Stone. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz visited the set for this story.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

I’m Christopher Clymer Kurtz. When I was at Shenandoah University at the end of October to report about the making of Santa Girl, a collaboration between the university and Capital Arts Entertainment, I sat down with two of the film’s professional actors, Barry Bostwick and then Jennifer Stone. We talked about the Shenandoah Valley, about working with students, college, and, of course, acting.

Jennifer Stone is known for being Harper on Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place.”

Marguerite Gallorini

As Virginians went to the polls to select the next governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, as well as candidates for the House of Delegates, WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz and Marguerite Gallorini talked to some of them.

Marguerite Gallorini

This fall the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, issued a drought watch for much of the WMRA listening area, and a number of localities from Winchester to Charlottesville encouraged — or mandated — their residents to conserve water. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

With election day nearing, Virginia’s District 26 incumbent delegate Republican Tony Wilt and his challenger Democrat Brent Finnegan met last night [Thursday, November 2] in a forum hosted by the James Madison University student newspaper The Breeze. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz filed this report.

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