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.

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Supporters of a so-called “cap and invest” proposal are laying the groundwork for the Oregon Legislature to take on the issue next year.

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson wants to move the state’s next presidential primary to an earlier date. Oregon currently holds its presidential primary in mid-May.

This year’s intense wildfire season in Oregon has re-ignited a long-simmering debate at the state Capitol: How to manage forests in a way that doesn’t lead to infernos.

But the politics of wildfires are complicated.

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson has turned over a database of state voter information to the Trump administration.

The August heat set records in some Oregon cities. And not surprisingly, the hot weather was especially brutal for people who work outside.

TOM BANSE / NW NEWS NETWORK

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson is hearing from opponents and supporters of a proposed change to the state's initiative process.

Critics of a new Oregon law that would make it easier to get guns out of the hands of people suffering from mental health crises are gathering signatures to overturn it.

It's official: Oregon taxpayers will receive a kicker rebate. Nearly $464 million will be sent back to taxpayers when they file their state income taxes next year.

A count of Oregon's homeless population shows a 6 percent increase in the number of people living in shelters or on the streets. The tally takes place every two years in January and is meant to be a snapshot of a specific point in time.

Oregonians will find out Wednesday if they'll receive a kicker rebate on their taxes next year.

The kicker is that unique Oregon institution that dishes out money to taxpayers when the state's official economists under-predict how much revenue the state will collect over a two-year period.

Nike co-founder Phil Knight made his largest ever donation to an Oregon political race this week. The recipient is Republican candidate for governor Knute Buehler.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed into law a bill to require health insurance policies to cover the cost of abortions.

A million people may flock to Oregon over the coming week to view the total eclipse of the sun. State officials said Tuesday that they're as prepared as they can possibly be. 



Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is sending aid to help fight a 34,000-acre wildfire on the Warm Springs Reservation in central Oregon.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reminding Oregon and other states with legalized recreational marijuana that federal marijuana law is still in effect.

The Oregon Senate voted Monday to extend health insurance coverage to children who are in the country illegally. The $36 million plan would enroll those children in the state's Medicaid program.

The legal age for buying tobacco products in Oregon could soon rise from 18 to 21. A measure to make that change cleared a key legislative hurdle Monday.

Oregon lawmakers have approved the nation's first statewide law on predictable scheduling for employees.

Oregon lawmakers are moving ahead with a measure that would require railroads to explain how they'd deal with hazardous spills. A legislative budget subcommittee voted Tuesday to advance the measure.

Oregon lawmakers narrowly approved an $8.2 billion spending plan Tuesday for K-12 schools. It’s an 11 percent increase over the previous budget cycle.

But many lawmakers said it still wasn't enough.

Oregon is one step closer to complying with a 12-year-old federal law that governs the security of drivers' licenses. The Oregon Senate approved a bill Monday that would allow the Oregon DMV to issue licenses that meet federal approval.

The Oregon House has narrowly passed a measure meant to scale back a tax break intended for small businesses. The measure cleared the chamber Friday over the strong objections of Republicans.

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature and Gov. Kate Brown say they are giving up trying to increase taxes on corporations during this year's legislative session.

Oregon lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a tax increase meant to ensure continued health care coverage for low-income Oregonians. The $670 million package raises an existing tax on hospital revenue and enacts a new tax on some health insurance premiums.

Oregon lawmakers want to make it harder for federal immigration agents to find people living in the country illegally.

The future of a possible corporate tax hike is in doubt at the Oregon Capitol after a flurry of activity Monday yielded no progress on the issue.

As Oregon lawmakers continue to debate whether to change the way the state taxes businesses, some public employee unions are threatening to take the question to voters.

It's part of a battle at the State Capitol over how to bridge a $1.4 billion budget gap.

Oregon lawmakers are moving forward with a key piece of the upcoming state spending plan. A legislative budget panel Thursday approved an $8.2 billion budget for K-12 schools.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will sign a bill Thursday that aims to make sure women are paid the same as men. Advocates say the measure will also help ensure disabled people are paid fairly.

Several Oregon lawmakers hailed the victims of Friday's stabbing on a Portland light rail train as "heroes."

Two people died and a third was seriously injured when they intervened to protect two teenage girls from a man making threatening, racist comments.

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