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."


Snohomish County Mudslide
3:57 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

President Obama To Visit Oso Landslide Site

File photo of cleanup at the site of the Oso landslide site on April 3, 2014.
Credit Washington National Guard

President Barack Obama is expected to visit the site of the deadly landslide in Snohomish County, Wash., later this month.

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Oso Landslide
6:05 am
Mon March 31, 2014

One Week After Deadly Slide, Darrington Pauses To Reflect

The death toll rose to 21 over the weekend as searchers continue to look for victims of the devastating landslide near Oso, Washington. In the hard-hit community of Darrington, residents paused Sunday to reflect on all that's happened.

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NPR Story
12:46 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Landslide Death Toll Rises, Number Of Missing Drops

Diners at the Bluebird Café in downtown Arlington, Washington observe a moment of silence to mark one week since the landslide disaster.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 6:11 pm

The death toll has risen to 18 following the devastating landslide near Oso, Washington, but the number of people missing has fallen dramatically -- down to 30.

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Cover Oregon
6:18 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Oregon Health Insurance Deadline Extended

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber called the audit of Cover Oregon a 'sobering critique' of the state's healht insurance exchange.
Credit Office of the Governor

Oregonians who want to apply for insurance through the state's troubled health insurance exchange now have some more breathing room. Governor John Kitzhaber announced Wednesday that the federal government has agreed to extend the deadline by a month.

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Snohomish County Mudslide
5:32 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Why It's So Hard To Pin Down The Number Of Missing People After A Disaster

An aerial view of the landslide over SR 530 near Oso, Washington.
Credit WSDOT / Flickr

More than 100 people are considered missing after last weekend's devastating landslide near Oso, Washington. That number continues to fluctuate. Experts say it's often difficult for authorities to figure out how many people are unaccounted for in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster.

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Mugshot Law
4:44 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Attorneys Cast Doubt On Effectiveness Of New Oregon Mugshot Law

A formerly lucrative trade that posted mugshots on commercial websites was undercut last year. That’s because the Oregon legislature passed a law that allows people to have their mugshots removed from these sites for free if they can demonstrate they were never convicted. Before the legislation, they could end up paying hundreds of dollars. But as Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports, it's not clear whether the law is having any impact.

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Cover Oregon
3:59 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Independent Audit Outlines Problems At Cover Oregon

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber called the audit of Cover Oregon a ' sobering critique' of the state's health insurance exchange.
Credit Office of the Governor


Oregon's health insurance exchange was riddled with internal conflict and unrealistic expectations. That's according to a scathing audit from an independent consultant released Thursday. Governor John Kitzhaber announced the findings and said among other things, the director of the Oregon Health Authority will be resigning.

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NPR Story
8:57 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Filing Day Marks Unofficial Kick-Off To Oregon Campaign Season

A state elections worker puts another name up on the board in the Oregon House showing candidates who have filed to run in the May 2014 primary.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:25 pm

Oregon candidates are off to the races. The campaign season unofficially got underway Tuesday with the deadline to file to run in the May primary.

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Oregon Legislature
5:29 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Oregon Lawmakers Gavel 2014 Legislative Session To A Close

File photo of the Oregon State Capitol Building
M.O. Stevens Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:22 pm

The Oregon legislature has wrapped up its 2014 legislative session. The final gavel fell Friday afternoon as lawmakers wrapped up the loose ends on a handful of bills.

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Oregon Legislature
4:51 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

As Session Drags On, Oregon Lawmakers Tangle Over Class-Action Bill

Chris Phan Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 4:18 pm

Oregon lawmakers are struggling to finish their work before this weekend's deadline to adjourn.

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