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."

Pages

Oregon Correctional Department
7:07 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Oregon House Passes Reduced Sentencing On Non-violent Crimes

Oregon lawmakers have given the initial approval to a sweeping measure aimed at checking the growth of the state's prison population. The House Thursday passed a bill that reduces some sentences for non-violent crimes. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Read more
Oregon Budget
5:30 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Oregon Senate Changes Course, Approves Schools Budget

M.O. Stevens Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 4:04 pm

A major component of the Oregon budget is on the move in the legislature again. The Oregon Senate Wednesday signed off on the spending plan for K-12 schools. It comes one week after the same budget proposal failed.

Oregon schools get the bulk of their money through the legislature. This budget would represent a sizable boost over last time. But the proposal failed on the Senate floor last week when one Democrat joined with all of the Republicans to block it.

Read more
Drone Regulation
4:29 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Drone Restrictions Moving Forward At Oregon Capitol

A measure in the Oregon legislature would limit how law enforcement can use unmanned aerial vehicles.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

New restrictions on drones are moving forward in the Oregon legislature. Lawmakers reached an agreement Tuesday on a measure that would limit the way law enforcement can use unmanned aircraft.

Read more
Medical Marijuana
4:25 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Marijuana Dispensaries Measure Advances In Oregon Legislature

Mjpresson Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 4:20 pm

Oregon medical marijuana patients could soon have an easier time getting hold of the drug. The Oregon House Monday narrowly passed a measure that would authorize a system of storefront dispensaries.

More than 53,000 people hold medical marijuana cards in Oregon. Under current state law, they either have to grow their own or find a buddy to grow it for them. This measure would allow growers to sell their goods through authorized dispensaries.

Read more
Oregon Tuition
5:03 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Oregon Board Hikes Tuition For College Students

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 4:57 pm

Oregon college students can expect to pay more for their education next fall. The state Board of Higher Education on Friday approved a series of tuition increases at Oregon's eight public university campuses.

The increases vary from school to school but for in-state undergraduates, the tuition hike averages out to between 5 percent and 6 percent.

Universities say the increases are necessary to keep up with rising costs.

But students told the board the price hikes would put a college degree out of reach for more people.

Read more
Gary Haugen
4:09 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Kitzhaber Scores Legal Victory Over Death Row Inmate

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
Credit Oregon.gov

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has scored a major legal victory in a case that pits him against a death row inmate who wants to be executed. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the governor does have the right to spare Gary Haugen's life.

Read more
Oregon Immunization Measure
5:22 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Oregon Votes To Make Immunization Opt-Out Tougher

CDC

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 3:51 pm

  Oregon parents could soon find it harder to skip having their children immunized.

The Oregon House Wednesday sent a measure to the governor that would add steps to the way parents can opt out of the requirement. A similar law went into effect in Washington state two years ago.

More than 6 percent of Oregon children enter kindergarten without the required number of vaccines. That rate is among the highest in the nation, and it has public health officials concerned.

Read more
NPR Story
5:03 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Local Governments Watch Oregon Public Pension Debate

Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

Oregon lawmakers are locked in a stalemate over whether to make additional cuts to the state's pension system for public employees.

The debate will affect every unit of government in Oregon. Most of the conversation at the capitol has surrounded the impact to state agencies and schools. But city and county governments are also watching the pension battle closely. 

Read more
Public Pensions
6:42 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Local Governments Watch Oregon Public Pension Debate

The City of Salem shows off its public works equipment each June.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon lawmakers are locked in a stalemate over whether to make additional cuts to the state's pension system for public employees. The debate will affect every unit of government in Oregon. Most of the conversation at the capitol has surrounded the impact to state agencies and schools. But city and county governments are also watching the pension battle closely.

Read more
Oregon Budget
5:03 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Oregon K-12 Budget Hits Legislative Roadblock

M.O. Stevens Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 4:58 pm

The largest portion of the Oregon state spending plan hit a major roadblock in the legislature Monday.

Read more

Pages