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.

Ways to Connect

Associated Press / AP Images

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has named a new director for one of the state's largest agencies. The Democrat announced that Katy Coba will head the Department of Administrative Services starting in October.

A series of intense wildfire seasons has taken a toll on the Oregon Department of Forestry. That's according to an audit released Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

Delegates from Oregon and Washington officially cast their votes for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton Tuesday at the party's national convention in Philadelphia. Oregon's votes were cast by one of the state's two Democratic U.S. Senators, Jeff Merkley.

Even though Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, you can't legally buy the stuff in more than 100 Oregon communities. That's because some city and county governments have banned recreational marijuana businesses.

But voters in nearly half of those places will have the chance to overturn those bans this November.

Oregonians will vote this fall on whether to fully fund an outdoor education program for the state's fifth and sixth graders. An initiative that would do that qualified for the Oregon ballot Friday.

Now that an initiative that aims to increase Oregon's high school graduation rate has qualified for the ballot, backers are rolling out details of their campaign.

Oregonians will vote on an initiative that aims to increase the state's high school graduation rate. The Oregon Secretary of State's office announced Thursday that supporters of IP 65 had gathered enough valid signatures for the measure to appear on the November ballot.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has thrown out a subpoena that would have given the FBI access to personal emails sent by former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. A three-judge panel ruled Wednesday that the subpoena was "unreasonably overbroad."

Some Oregon corporations will likely change their structure and behavior to lessen the impact of a tax hike headed for the November ballot. That's according to a report from revenue analysts at the Oregon Legislature.

Friday was the deadline to turn in signatures for initiative campaigns hoping to place a measure on the November ballot in Oregon. Statutory initiatives need 88,184 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. Constitutional initiatives require 117,578 valid signatures.

Oregon voters may get the chance to ban the sale of items made from certain wildlife species this November. Backers of an initiative that would do just that submitted signatures Thursday in an attempt to get their measure on the November ballot.

Tens of thousands of Oregonians will get a raise Friday when the state's minimum wage goes up for the first time in 18 months.

Manchester City Library / Flickr

Oregon corporations are paying a smaller portion of the state's income and property taxes. That's according to a newly released report from the left-leaning Oregon Center for Public Policy. 

The evangelist who was a part of the negotiations that ended the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in February returned to Oregon Tuesday. Franklin Graham, the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, spoke to a crowd of thousands at a rally in front of the state capitol.

Oregon lawmakers continued to debate the future of the state's Department of Energy on Monday, when a special legislative panel grilled the leader of that agency against the backdrop of a potential criminal investigation.

Oregon school districts are preparing to test for the presence of lead as a result of new rules proposed by Gov. Kate Brown. Members of the Oregon Board of Education Thursday signaled a desire to move quickly on the proposal.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she won't debate her Republican challenger until September at the earliest. The incumbent Democrat's announcement Wednesday came days after she turned down an appearance at the traditional opening debate of the campaign season.

Oregon schools could soon be required to test for the presence of lead in drinking water, paint and even dirt. That's according to a set of rules proposed Tuesday by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. It adds to a list that already included radon and other chemicals.

Oregon is getting some federal aid to help pay for damages sustained during a series of strong winter storms. The severe weather included strong winds and heavy rains that triggered flooding and mudslides over the course of two weeks last December.

The old adage that every vote counts was especially true in Oregon this year. A tie in the Independent Party primary for a suburban Portland seat in the Oregon House was broken Friday with a roll of the dice.

The Oregon Supreme Court says dogs are more than simply property. Justices Thursday overturned a lower court's ruling that found that taking a blood sample from a dog was a warrantless search.

Oregon employers have new guidance from the state on how much to pay their employees when the state's minimum wage goes up next month. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries released rules Wednesday meant to clear up one of the questions surrounding the legislatively-approved minimum wage hike.

Four county governments in Oregon are still struggling enough that the state should continue to monitor their financial condition. That's according to a state audit released Tuesday.

Oregon lawmakers are hitting the road Monday to get a first-hand look at the state's traffic chokepoints. It's part of an effort to develop a transportation funding package for a vote in next year's legislative session.

A bill that makes sweeping changes to Oregon's oversight of foster care providers takes effect next month. The reforms were proposed after numerous media reports of abuse and neglect at several foster care providers.

Following Friday’s derailment in the Columbia Gorge, environmental groups are petitioning the Obama administration to ban rail transport of the most flammable kind of crude oil. And Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said on the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday that it was clear that Oregon got lucky -- this time.

"I have positive feelings about Donald Trump as a candidate."

Gil Bellamy of Salem said he wasn’t holding his nose as he made a bid Saturday to represent Oregon at the Republican national convention this summer in Cleveland—where most Oregon delegates will have been pre-assigned to Trump.

Black smoke billowed high into the sky above Interstate 84 Friday afternoon after 11 oil train cars derailed near Mosier, Oregon. At least one of the derailed cars spilled oil and caught fire.

The oil train fire in the Columbia Gorge is the first one since Oregon lawmakers approved funding for a hazardous materials incidents plan last year.

Oregon's economy continues to be strong. That's according to the latest revenue forecast from state economists, which was delivered Friday at the capitol in Salem.

Office of the Governor / Flickr

 

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown released a plan Thursday on how she'd use money from a potential corporate tax increase. The increase would come from a ballot initiative if voters approve it this fall.

Brown didn’t say she supports it. But in her plan she said she wants to create a fund to pay for career and technical high school education. She'd also expand a tax credit for low income families and offer tax breaks to companies that keep jobs in Oregon despite having to pay the tax.

Pages