Chris Lehman

Salem Correspondent

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.

Chris is a native of rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was born in the upstairs bedroom of his grandmother's house, and grew up in a 230 year old log cabin in the woods. Chris traces his interest in journalism to his childhood, when his parents threatened to take away his newspaper if he didn’t do his chores.

In addition to working full time in public radio for the past decade, Chris has also reported from overseas on a free–lance basis. He's filed stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda. He lives in Salem with his wife and child.

Read Chris's blog, "Capitol Currents: Dispatches From Salem."

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Governors Race Ads
7:25 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Oregon Gubernatorial Candidates Hit The Airwaves

Both of Oregon's major-party candidates for governor plan to blanket the airwaves this fall. Democrat incumbent John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson rolled out campaign commercials Wednesday.

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Northwest Fires
6:38 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Oregon Fire Season 'Continues To Push And Challenge'

The 36-pit fire is burning outside of Estacada, Oregon.
Credit sean dreilinger / flickr

A wildfire southeast of Portland has grown to more than 3,500 acres and threatens more than 160 homes. Firefighters are expected to catch a break from the hot, dry conditions for a few days until the next round of warm weather moves into the region this weekend. The "36 Pit" fire is just the latest in a series of large fires in the Northwest this summer. 


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Oregon Retirement Plan
6:50 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Oregon Could Implement Retirement Plan For Private-Sector Workers

Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler
Credit Oregon State Treasury / http://www.oregon.gov/

Oregonians could have another option when it comes to saving for the future. State treasurer Ted Wheeler outlined a proposal for a state-managed retirement savings plan Monday.

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Cover Oregon
7:53 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Cover Oregon Officials To Face State Lawmakers

State lawmakers are set to grill the leaders of Cover Oregon on Monday and Tuesday.
Credit Cover Oregon

The leaders of Oregon's struggling health insurance exchange will be grilled by state lawmakers in a series of hearings at the capitol on Monday and Tuesday.

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Measure 90
1:10 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Measure 90 Would Bring Top Two Primaries To Oregon

This fall, Oregon voters will choose between five candidates for U.S. Senator and six candidates for governor. It could be the last time the general election ballot is this crowded in Oregon. That's because of one of the initiatives up for a vote this year. Measure 90 would create a nonpartisan primary for all candidates. The top two would advance to the general election, regardless of party. It’s similar to the elections system already in place in Washington state.

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Oregon Marijuana
6:43 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Oregon Warns Unlicensed Medical Marijuana Dispensaries To Close

Credit noexcusesradio / pixabay

Oregon is warning some unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries to close their doors. This summer, the state has sent letters to nine storefront pot dealers ordering them to shut down.

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Atiyeh Memorial
8:39 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh To Be Remembered At Capitol

Former Oregon governor Vic Atiyeh

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh will be remembered at the Oregon state Capitol September 3rd. A public service will include family members and former colleagues of the governor, who died in July at the age of 91. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Statue Dispute
7:18 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Kitzhaber Creates Commission To Study Statue Squabble

A statue of early pioneer missionary Jason Lee stands in the U.S. Capitol Building ... for now.
Credit Architect of the Capitol

Each state is represented by two statues in the United States Capitol Building. Some Oregon lawmakers have tried repeatedly to replace one of their state's specimens. Now, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is pulling together a commission to try to settle this statue squabble once and for all. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Medical Marijuana
3:56 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Gold Hill Councilors Survive Recall Attempt

Breeze Botanicals owner Brie Malarkey stands in front of the medical marijuana dispensary at the heart of a recall election in Gold Hill, Oregon.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The attempt to remove most of the city council in the southern Oregon city of Gold Hill fell short.

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Top-Two Primary
6:43 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Major Parties Oppose Oregon's Top Two Primary Ballot Measure

A group of Oregon voters brought together to consider the pros and cons of a Top Two primary system have issued their recommendation: They're against it. That puts them in the same camp as both major political parties in Oregon. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman explains.

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