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

You can now use your credit or debit card when you visit the DMV in Oregon. The agency is now accepting plastic at all 60 of its field offices.

Torben Hansen / FLICKR Creative Commons

Two law enforcement groups in Oregon say drug possession convictions should result in lighter sentences than they currently do.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has appointed Margaret Salazar as the new head of the state agency that handles works to provide affordable housing. The announcement was made as lawmakers gear up to tackle housing issues during next year's legislative session.

Three of the candidates for Oregon Secretary of State made their case to voters in Eugene Friday. Democrat Brad Avakian, Republican Dennis Richardson and Alan Zundel of the Pacific Green Party spoke before the Eugene City Club.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

 

If a group that rallied at the state capitol in Salem Thursday has its way, Oregon lawmakers will take up two major pieces of legislation designed to improve rights for renters next year.

Oregon college campuses should have better access to sworn police officers and develop active shooter training programs for all students and employees. Those are some of the recommendations in a draft report issued Thursday by a work group convened by the Oregon governor's office.

Women and girls in Oregon are more likely to be survivors of sexual violence, and have the highest incidence of reported depression in the country, according to a report released Wednesday on the status of women in the state.

According to a new report from a state task force, the ratio of students to school nurses has more than doubled in the past five years in Oregon.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Polls are showing that Oregon voters aren't rallying around either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. While Clinton is expected to win the state, her campaign is struggling to attract Democrats who voted for Bernie Sanders in the May primary. Clinton and Trump aren't the only presidential candidates on the Oregon ballot this fall.

Steady job growth means Oregon's economy will continue to do well in the short term. But storm clouds are on the horizon. That was the prediction Wednesday from state economists.

Voter registration is surging in Oregon. The Secretary of State's office said Tuesday that nearly 300,000 new voters have been added over the past year. But the uptick isn't due to interest in the presidential election.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made another big-money contribution to an Oregon candidate. The recipient this time is Democratic Gov. Kate Brown.

More than a third of the credits issued under a tax credit program for renewable energy companies in Oregon went to problematic projects. That's according to an independent analysis issued Thursday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

Oregon's child welfare system will have a new leader in November. The Oregon Department of Human Services Wednesday announced the results of a nationwide job search.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Some drinking fountains have been turned off at the Oregon capitol building after tests showed an unsafe level of lead in the water. Officials have ordered more tests to determine the source of the lead.

Oregon Senate Democrats / Northwest News Network

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners Tuesday appointed a temporary replacement for Medford state Senator Alan Bates, who died in early August. Democrat Kevin Talbert will serve until January, when the winner of the November election will take office.

Oregon's Latino population is growing much faster than the rest of the state. That's one of the findings of a report released Monday by the Oregon Community Foundation.

Ryan Johnson / FLICKR Creative Commons

A new state-sponsored retirement plan for private-sector workers in Oregon has cleared a key federal hurdle. The U.S. Department of Labor finalized rules that allow Oregon's plan to debut next July.

Oregon's foster care system is being pushed to its limits. That's the upshot of a consultant's draft report released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Human Services. The report is the result of a call for an independent investigation last fall by Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

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.

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