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

For the first time in Harrisonburg, the nonprofit Remote Area Medical clinic offered anyone who needed it free dental, vision and medical care. 

Even as Medicaid expansion is finding its footing in Virginia, many people don’t have access to necessary health care. A non-profit provider of mobile medical clinics is coming to Harrisonburg for the first time on March 2nd and 3rd, in hopes of addressing some of those needs. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

From soil to sacred, last week’s Farm to Table Conference [Dec. 5-6, 2018] served up two days’ worth of sessions and talks about food, farming and community. There’s cause for concern – and hope, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In October, reports by ProPublica and the New York Times highlighted racial disparities between whites and non-whites in the nation’s public schools. A companion story in the Times focused on the wide gap between whites and blacks in Charlottesville city schools, and cited the Southern legacy of Jim Crow and segregation. One way of measuring the gap is looking at disparities in who is enrolled in Advanced Placement courses. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz looks at some of the results in the Shenandoah Valley.

Bob Leweke

If you’ve spent any time in downtown Harrisonburg recently, you’ve almost certainly noticed a sudden influx of black and white scooters all over the sidewalks.  JMU students seem to love them, but the scooter invasion is not without controversy, and risk.  WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Wildlife Center of Virginia

A year ago the Wildlife Center of Virginia started what it calls the Wildlife Care Academy, to more widely share its expertise with wildlife enthusiasts and professionals.  And the program is expanding. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

The Harrisonburg/Rockingham Community Criminal Justice Board is meeting Monday night [Oct. 15, 2018], and several local groups are joining for a “March for Criminal Justice Reform” that will end at that meeting. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Yesterday at James Madison University, as part of its “Democracy in Peril?” forum about current politics, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor addressed approximately 75 people, many of them students, gathered in James Madison Hall. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

It’s October, the season for haunted houses and chills and frights. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz talked with some area scare providers and filed this report – and just a word of caution: this includes some scary sounds.

Across the nation this weekend [Saturday-Monday, Oct. 6-8, 2018] some 700 home owners and organizations, including in the WMRA listening region, are sharing their love of solar energy. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

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.

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