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

Last year DuPont agreed to pay about $50 million to fund projects restoring natural habitat around the South River in Waynesboro. The projects address contamination caused by mercury released into the soil, and the river, by DuPont for decades.  WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz takes a look at the early stages of restoration.

Wildlife Center of Virginia

Virginia biologists have their eyes on a number of problems in the state, such as giant hogweed and Chronic Wasting Disease in deer. Another problem on the rise – mange in black bears – might have a new treatment, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

A recent USA Today report named Harrisonburg as the Virginia city “hit hardest by extreme poverty.” City officials say that report is misleading.  And advocates for people in need point to other measures of poverty. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Across the nation and beyond – and now in Harrisonburg – local choirs have formed to sing at the bedsides of people in end-of-life care – patients who are at the “thresholds of life.” The singers are part of “threshold choirs,” as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

National Night Out

Tuesday evening [August 7], police departments across the nation, including in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg, will try to foster a sense of community with the neighborhoods they police.  WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Camp Kesem

A nationwide community of college students is offering a summer camp where the children of parents with cancer can have fun, and just be – and become – themselves. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

US Customs and Border Protection

Recently national attention turned to the class action lawsuit filed on behalf of unaccompanied immigrant minors detained at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton. Its allegations have caused concern for many, including a clinical psychologist and local, state and federal officials. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Zachary Wajsgras / Creative Commons

Recent national attention to the class action lawsuit filed by unaccompanied immigrant minors detained at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, or SVJC, near Staunton has raised the concern of many, including U.S. Senator from Virginia Mark Warner. He spoke with WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz.

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.

CC0 Public Domain

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.

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