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

Oregon will soon have its first Republican secretary of state in more than three decades. Dennis Richardson is set to take the oath of office on Friday.

Oregon taxpayers who file returns as soon as possible in order to claim a refund may have to wait longer to get their cash in 2017. The Oregon Department of Revenue says it will hold onto state income tax refunds until February 15.

After Oregon voters approved recreational marijuana use for adults in 2014, there was no place to legally buy it until October of the following year. That's when a law kicked in that allowed dispensaries to sell to people without medical marijuana cards.

Oregon's agency devoted to economic development should provide more transparency about how its incentives are being used. That's one of the findings of an audit of Business Oregon released Monday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

Monday is the day when members of the Electoral College cast their votes for president. It's usually a routine event, but this year's political turmoil means the voting is getting extra attention.

The agency in charge of managing Oregon's water resources is being stretched to the limit. That's one of the findings in a new audit from the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

A vacant seat in the Oregon Senate will soon belong to James Manning, an African-American Army veteran from Eugene. The Lane County Board of Commissioners made the selection Wednesday.

Law enforcement officers in Oregon would be required to collect data on the race, ethnicity, age and sex of people they pull over under a measure proposed Wednesday by the Oregon Department of Justice.

The idea is the result of a task force created to find ways to eliminate law enforcement profiling.

In the wake of last month's defeat of a proposed corporate tax increase, the union-funded group that sponsored the measure unveiled a new set of revenue-raising proposals Tuesday. But after Measure 97 went down big time in November, this proposal is rather different.

A new law this year in Oregon requires insurance companies to cover a 12-month supply of prescription birth control. The law took effect earlier this year, but its backers say some insurers haven't gotten the message.

Oregon lawmakers are returning to the State Capitol Monday for a final round of prep work before the new legislative session begins. The list of meetings gives a glimpse into what lawmakers will discuss during 2017.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has announced two new hires in her office. She also announced the departure of two staff members.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins says she was "taken aback" by the amount of misinformation that surrounded surrounding Oregon's recent election process.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown rolled out a two-year spending plan Thursday at the State Capitol. The proposal tackles a $1.7 billion budget shortfall with a mix of program cuts and tax hikes.

With Thanksgiving on the mind of most people this week, a new report shows the number of Oregonians who aren't sure where their next meal is coming from continues to rise.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has filled two high-profile vacancies in state government. The Democrat announced Friday appointments to head the Oregon Lottery and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Oregon lawmakers didn't get much by way of good news Wednesday with the release of the latest revenue projections. Those show a $52 million drop in anticipated revenue during the upcoming budget cycle.

That means lawmakers will have to patch up an even bigger budget shortfall, which is already expected to exceed $1.5 billion.

The Independent Party of Oregon is looking ahead after their first time being on a general election ballot as a major party. The group didn't win any races but leaders say the party did make its presence known.

The state of Oregon is running behind schedule when it comes to conducting food safety inspections. That's the conclusion of an audit released Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State.

According to numbers released Monday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office, about 42 percent of people who were automatically registered to vote this year did so in this month's election.

More voters cast a ballot than ever before in this month's election in Oregon. The Oregon Secretary of State's office announced Thursday that 2,022,384 voters took part.

Oregonians could be voting in two years on whether they want to remain a part of the United States. Sponsors of an initiative petition called the Oregon Secession Act submitted the initial paperwork just after Tuesday's election results became known.

Democrats now have a 30-year winning streak when it comes to the Oregon governor's office. Kate Brown easily held off Republican challenger Bud Pierce Tuesday night.

Opponents of a possible water bottling plant in the Columbia Gorge are weighing their options now that a judge has approved a water rights transfer that's key to the plant's existence.

A new state audit says the Oregon agency that monitors natural hazards has engaged in some questionable fiscal practices. The report says the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries is also taking steps to correct the problem.

Democrats are in firm control of both chambers of the Oregon legislature. But in the state House, nearly one-quarter of the current members won't be returning to the capitol next year. That's led to a number of hotly contested races for open seats.

And many of those battleground districts are in the suburbs.

Oregonians are returning their ballots at a faster pace so far than either of the past two presidential elections. But what happens to all those ballots before they get counted?

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.

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