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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The Oregon Youth Authority; oregon.gov

 

Oregon lawmakers have approved a measure that would stop children under 18 from being physically restrained during juvenile court proceedings.

The Oregon House voted unanimously in favor of the measure Thursday, sending it to Gov. Kate Brown.

The bill would require restraints, such as shackles or handcuffs, to be removed before a court hearing begins.

Don Ryan / Associated Press

The Oregon House approved a measure Wednesday that would create a process to impeach the state's governor.

Oregon lawmakers got their first look Tuesday at a bill to overhaul the way the state taxes corporations. The short version of the plan: Businesses would be taxed on the sales they have in Oregon each year, instead of on their profits.

The 111-page document leaves out some of the details, including how much corporations would actually be taxed under the plan.

Oregon lawmakers have signed off on a measure to ensure that women will be paid the same as men. The Oregon House approved the bill Monday.

Oregonians could be getting a kicker when they file their taxes next year. State economists said Tuesday that revenues for the current budget cycle are on track to exceed projections by a wide enough margin to trigger Oregon's unique kicker law.

The May revenue forecast is a critical piece of information for lawmakers as they decide how to spend taxpayer dollars during the next two-year budget cycle.

Oregon lawmakers have signed off on a bill that would make it easier for transgender people to change their identity on state government documents like a drivers license or birth certificate.

The Senate voted 23-6 Wednesday to approve the bill, which now heads to the governor's desk.

In a year when Oregon lawmakers are grappling with a $1.6 billion budget shortfall, even some legislative leaders are having trouble gaining traction for their priorities.

The Oregon Department of Human Services will have a new director this fall. Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday that she's appointing the head of another state agency to take the helm at DHS.

Oregon House Democrats pitched a plan to overhaul the way the state taxes businesses Thursday. The proposal is part of an effort to bridge a $1.6 billion shortfall in the upcoming budget.

Oregon Supreme Court Justice David Brewer will step down at the end of June. He will become the second judge on Oregon's highest court to resign this year.

Oregon lawmakers have unveiled a proposed business tax that’s meant to help bridge a $1.6 billion budget shortfall.

The new tax would be a “gross receipts tax,” and would replace the existing corporate income tax. Unlike an income tax, the gross receipts tax would be levied on a company’s overall sales, not its profits.

Oregonians could petition a court to revoke the gun rights of a household member in crisis under a bill approved Monday in the Oregon Senate.

One of the largest state workers unions rallied in front of the Oregon Capitol Friday. Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said budget-balancing discussions by Oregon lawmakers unfairly target public employees.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed an executive order aimed at improving the way the state negotiates with its unionized workers.

The order establishes that money set aside for collective bargaining will now include salary increases and health care costs.

A bipartisan group of Oregon lawmakers unveiled a proposal on Friday to reel in state spending during the upcoming budget cycle. The plan calls for a two-year hiring freeze on "non-essential positions."

The state of Oregon has announced a new round of taxpayer-funded grants to help schools and other public buildings better withstand a major earthquake.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has ordered a two-month hiring freeze for state government jobs. The Democrat is ordering state agencies not to fill any job vacancies during the months of May and June.

Budget writers at the Oregon Legislature are warning of deep cuts to health care and education. The Democrats in charge of putting together a two-year spending plan released a list of potential cuts Monday.

Oregon lawmakers heard public testimony Monday on a set of bills to regulate guns.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Oregon lawmakers are gearing up for a pair of hearings Monday on a set of bills to regulate firearms. The measures would do a variety of things.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Oregon lawmakers won't vote on a measure that would create a new crime called "militia terrorism." That announcement came from a key lawmaker Wednesday during a hearing on the bill, which drew plenty of opposition.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is leaning on the state's public college and universities to curb tuition increases.

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson wants to restore ballot access to some Oregonians whose voter status has been changed to "inactive."

People who legally buy marijuana in Oregon would enjoy a greater level of privacy under a measure headed for Gov. Kate Brown’s desk. The Oregon House Monday approved a bill that would stop cannabis retailers from recording personal information such as a customer's name, age or address.

Lobbyists in Oregon would have to publicly disclose their positions on bills they're trying to influence under a measure approved by the state House Thursday.

Oregon politicians aren't allowed to hold duels. It says so in the state constitution. But one state lawmaker Wednesday made his case for ending that ban.

The Oregon House narrowly voted Tuesday to ban most no-cause evictions and to allow cities to pass local rent control ordinances.

The Oregon House could vote as soon as Tuesday on a measure that would ban most no-cause evictions in the state.

Gas stations in eastern Oregon could offer self-service gas around the clock under a measure that passed the Oregon House 56-0 Thursday. For decades, Oregon and New Jersey were the only states that banned most drivers from pumping their own fuel. Two years ago, Oregon lawmakers backed away from that ban, but only for rural counties and only at night. The idea was to prevent drivers from getting stranded in a small town where the only station had closed for the day. The new law would allow those rural stations to offer self-serve around the clock.

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