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 freelance basis. He's filed stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda. He lives in Salem with his wife and children.


Gun Rights
5:35 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Oregon Legislature Votes To Require Background Checks For Private Gun Sales

Quagmar Flickr

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 5:28 pm

A bill that would require criminal background checks for private gun sales in Oregon is on its way to the governor's desk. The Oregon House narrowly passed the measure Monday.

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Oregon First Lady
4:57 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Former Oregon First Lady Tries To Block Release Of More Emails

Portland attorney Whitney Boise argued the case on behalf of his client, Cylvia Hayes.
Anna Reed Statesman Journal pool photo

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 4:54 pm

An attorney for Cylvia Hayes told a judge in Salem Friday that the former Oregon first lady is a private citizen and should not be required to hand over her emails to the press.

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Government and Politics
5:00 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Oregon Court Throws Out Bulk Of Public Pension Overhaul Measures

The Oregon Supreme court has overturned a key piece of reforms to the state's public pension system.
Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 4:59 pm

The Oregon Supreme Court tossed out much of the state legislature's 2013 attempts to curb pension payouts to retired public workers.

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Self-Serve Gas Pumps
7:46 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Measure Would Allow Rural Oregonians To Sometimes Pump Their Own Gas

Oregonians may soon be able to pump there own gas in some parts of the state. Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 5:21 pm

Anyone who drives through Oregon knows that the state doesn't let people pump their own gas.

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Oregon Marijuana Convictions
7:58 am
Wed April 29, 2015

With Legal Pot On The Way, Oregon Considers Clean Slate For Marijuana Convictions

Tim McClure was convicted of a felony drug charge in connection to a marijuana grow operation near this spot on his Wasco County ranch.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Starting in July, adults in Oregon can legally use recreational marijuana. But thousands of Oregonians will still have criminal records for marijuana offenses that would have been legal under the new law. Now, there are efforts in the Oregon legislature to let some people wipe the slate clean when it comes to pot convictions. Chris Lehman spoke to some who are involved.

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Gay Rights
5:07 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Judge Proposes Oregon Baker Pay $135,000 In Discrimination Case

An Oregon judge has awarded a same-sex couple $135,000 after a bakery refused to make a cake for their wedding. The bakery has since closed its storefront but is still in business online.

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 2:25 pm

An Oregon judge has proposed awarding a same-sex couple $135,000 in damages after a bakery refused to make a cake for their wedding.

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Oregon Gun Bill
6:50 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Supporters, Opponents Pack Oregon Gun Bill Hearing

A measure in the Oregon legislature would require criminal background checks on most private gun sales.
Ben Alman Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 6:32 pm

Supporters and opponents of a measure that would require criminal background checks on private gun sales testified at the Oregon Capitol Wednesday.

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Campaign Contributions
5:42 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Oregon Voters Could Consider Caps On Campaign Contributions

Oregon Governor Kate Brown addresses the Senate Rules Committee as they consider campaign finance reform legislation.
Office of the Governor

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 5:39 pm

State lawmakers are considering a measure that would ask voters in 2016 to approve limits on a campaign contributions.

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Government And Politics
4:03 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers Use 'Lateral Pass' To Beat Bill Deadline

Edmund Garman Flickr

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 3:55 pm

Oregon lawmakers are rushing to beat a Tuesday deadline for legislation to advance. But there's an old saying around the state capitol: No bill is truly dead until the final gavel falls.

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State Of The State
5:17 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Oregon Governor Urges Action On Transportation Funding

Oregon Governor Kate Brown delivers her State of the State address at Portland City Club.
Allison Frost

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:13 pm

Oregon Governor Kate Brown wants to drive the issue of how to unclog traffic and fix decaying bridges back into the fast lane.

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