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 free–lance basis. He's filed stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda. He lives in Salem with his wife and child.

Read Chris's blog, "Capitol Currents: Dispatches From Salem."

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Smoking In Cars
4:05 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Lawmakers Vote To Ban Smoking In Cars With Children Present

Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 5:11 pm

Oregon lawmakers signed off Monday on a measure that makes it illegal to smoke in a car when there are children present. Drivers could only be ticketed for the offense if they've already been pulled over for something else.

Supporters include Republican representative Jim Thompson. He told colleagues that the bill seeks to protect children from an obvious harm.

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Dean Brooks
6:25 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

'Cuckoo's Nest' Hospital Superintendent Dies

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:46 pm

The former Oregon State Hospital superintendent who allowed the filming of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ has died.

Dean Brooks had a small role in the 1975 movie, filmed on location in Salem. The film won the Oscar for best picture.

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NPR Story
5:05 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Albany Teen Kept Meticulous Notes On High School Bomb Plot

Benton County Distract Attorney

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 7:43 pm

A judge in Benton County, Ore. has set bail at $2 million for a 17-year-old accused of plotting to bomb West Albany High School. The student -- Grant Acord -- appeared in court on a video link to face 19 counts. They include attempted aggravated murder and illegal manufacture and possession of bombs and weapons.

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Bomb Plot
4:04 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

West Albany Student Body ‘Tighter’ After Bomb Plot Averted

The sign outside West Albany High School on the first day of class after a bomb plot was averted.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

A 17-year-old student from Albany, Ore., appeared in court Tuesday afternoon on charges of plotting to bomb his high school. On the first day back for students, the sign in front of the campus says simply, “West Albany High School is family.”

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NPR Story
3:52 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

West Albany Student Body ‘Tighter’ After Bomb Plot Averted

Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 4:00 pm

A 17-year-old student from Albany, Oregon appeared in court this afternoon Tuesday on charges of plotting to bomb his high school. On the first day back for students, the sign in front of the campus Tuesday says simply, “West Albany High School is family.” Tanner Whitley is a senior there.

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Inefficient Charities
5:27 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Oregon Lawmakers Vote To Crack Down On Inefficient Charities

M.O. Stevens Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 4:36 pm

Oregon lawmakers want to crack down on charities that use very little of the money they raise to actually help people. 

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Missionary Statue
6:27 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Oregon House Votes To Remove Missionary, Install Politician In Statuary Hall

Architect of the Capitol

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 11:39 am

The Oregon House voted Monday to remove a statue of pioneer missionary Jason Lee from a prominent place in the U.S. Capitol. In its place they propose to put a statue of former Oregon Republican governor and U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield.

Each state gets two spots in the the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall. Supporters of the change say it's time to honor a more modern and prominent figure in Oregon's history.

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Corporate Kicker
4:11 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Increased Corporate Tax Collections Could Trigger Oregon's Kicker Rebate

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:22 pm

Better-than-expected tax collections could trigger Oregon's unique kicker law, at least for corporations. The rebate is issued if revenues exceed initial projections by more than two percent. A newly released revenue forecast noted Thursday that business taxes have been robust enough to cross that threshold.

But state economist Mark McMullen says a final tally won't be made until later this year. "We believe that a kicker is better than a 50-50 shot. But not a sure thing. That came with a big surge in corporate taxes at the beginning of the year."

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Revenue Forecast
4:09 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

State Economist: Oregon's Growth Rate Improving

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:31 pm

Oregon's economic outlook is looking brighter. That's according to state economists, who issued their quarterly revenue forecast Thursday. The news comes as lawmakers get ready to put together the state's next two-year spending plan.

The slow and steady improvement is still steady, just not quite as slow. The overall growth rate is still a bit behind past expansions, but state economist Mark McMullen says some of the factors holding back Oregon's economy are looking better, such as jobs and the housing market.

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Oregon Budget
4:33 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Kitzhaber Challenges Lawmakers To Pass Additional Pension Cuts, Tax Hikes

Office of the Governor

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 4:20 pm

On the eve of a new state revenue forecast, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is putting pressure on state lawmakers to reach a deal over taxes and public pensions. The Democrat proposed a compromise Wednesday aimed at pleasing Republicans and Democrats in the legislature.

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