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 top civil rights lawyer at the Oregon Department of Justice is suing his employer. Erious Johnson alleged in a lawsuit filed in federal court that the agency violated his civil rights.

The daily newspaper in Oregon's capital is undergoing some changes. The Statesman Journal in Salem laid off two top newsroom employees and has sold the downtown building that houses its newsroom.

No matter where you live in Oregon, all you need is a single first-class stamp if you want to return your ballot by mail. Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins said ballots in all 36 counties are small enough that just one "Forever" stamp is all it takes.

A long-time veteran with the Oregon Department of Corrections has been promoted to serve as the agency's interim deputy director. The move comes after the previous deputy director resigned after less than two years on the job.

Marijuana retailers began collecting a 25 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales starting in January. That money is adding up quickly.

The three major-party contenders for Oregon treasurer faced off Monday in a debate that often focused on the candidates' qualifications for the job. Republican Jeff Gudman, Democrat Tobias Read and the Independent Party's Chris Telfer were part of the conversation during a broadcast of OPB's "Think Out Loud."

Voters in Oregon and Washington can expect to see ballots arriving in their mailboxes starting later this week. And this year, more of those ballots than ever will go out in the mail.

Oregon Department of Transportation / FLICKR Creative Commons

Oregonians will be able to use their drivers licenses to enter federal buildings until at least next June. That's because of an extension granted by the U.S. government this week.

Working for Oregon's Department of Human Services is stressful. That's one of the findings of an agency-wide survey released Wednesday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

After more than a decade of construction, a section of U.S. Highway 20 in Oregon's Coast Range is now open to traffic. But work isn't done on the project yet.

There's about one month remaining to submit proposals to buy Oregon's Elliott State Forest. The Oregon Department of State Lands said so far, no one has expressed interest in the 82,000 acre property in southwest Oregon.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown discussed a potential new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River during a phone call this week. Inslee mentioned his conversation with Governor Brown during an interview with the editorial board of the Columbian newspaper in Vancouver.

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.