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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Northwest News
5:39 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Oregon Lawmaker Proposes Grant Program For School Safety

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 4:51 pm

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers will consider a bill next year aimed at improving security measures at K-12 schools. Representative Mitch Greenlick says he has 16 co-sponsors on a proposal to create a state grant program for districts to tap into.

The Portland Democrat says the money could be used for things like video monitoring and keycard access systems for school entryways. Schools could also build perimeter fencing. Greenlick says even if the grant program doesn't cover every school in Oregon, it could still spur changes.

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Ore. Special Legislative Session
4:45 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Kitzhaber Calls Special Session, Eyes Nike Expansion

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber called the state legislature into special session later this week.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

This audio is pending

Oregon lawmakers will convene in special session this Friday. Gov. John Kitzhaber announced Monday that the session is urgently needed to facilitate a major expansion of Oregon-based Nike.

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Gambling Addiction
5:06 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Oregon Lottery's Anti-Addiction Efforts Under Scrutiny

A sign for video lottery in Portland, Ore.
Credit Thomas Hawk / Flickr

  The Oregon Lottery spends millions of dollars a year to prevent gambling addiction. But some Oregon lawmakers say that effort has been ineffective. Now, a legislative committee may force the Lottery to hire someone to coordinate its anti-addiction efforts.

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Gay Marriage Cases
5:00 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Implications Unclear For Supreme Court Gay Marriage Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court will review a ban on same-sex marriage in California, as well as a federal law that prohibits gays and lesbians from receiving federal spousal benefits.
Credit Franz Jantzen / Supreme Court website

 Supporters of same-sex marriage in the Northwest are at once celebrating and downplaying the latest news from the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court announced Friday that it would review a ban on same-sex marriage in California, as well as a federal law that prohibits gays and lesbians from receiving federal spousal benefits.

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Cutting Prison Costs
6:05 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Oregon Governor Pushes Corrections Cost-Cutting

Gov. John Kitzhaber says Oregon can save millions of dollars a year by changing the way the state punishes non-violent criminals.
Credit OPB News

Gov. John Kitzhaber says Oregon can save millions of dollars a year by changing the way the state punishes non-violent criminals. The Democrat has included those savings in his next spending plan. But just how the state would save that much money is not yet clear.

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Same-Sex Marriage
5:27 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Mother, Son Reflect On How Ballot Measure Affects His Planned Wedding To Boyfriend

Many same-sex couples in Washington were planning to get married whether or not the state sanctioned their union. That includes Spike Huntington and Nick Chandler-Klein of Seattle, who are planning a wedding next summer.

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I-5 Bridge Funding
4:36 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Oregon Governor Urges Legislature To Act Quickly To Fund I-5 Bridge

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber speaks to the Oregon Leadership Summit.
Credit Colin Fogarty

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is stepping up the pressure on state lawmakers to make funding a new I-5 bridge over the Columbia River a top priority. The Democrat made his case for a new span between Portland and Vancouver at a gathering of business leaders Monday.

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Oregon Budget
4:23 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Kitzhaber's Budget Puts Pressure On Lawmakers

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber speaks at the state capitol in Salem.
Credit OPB News

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber firmly put the ball in the court of Oregon lawmakers when he released his two-year budget proposal Friday. The spending plan relies on savings gained from potentially controversial changes to the state's pension and public safety systems.

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Capitol Christmas Tree
5:21 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Oregon Capitol Christmas Tree Gets A Temporary Time-Out

Crews lower the Oregon state capitol Christmas tree to the floor of the rotunda.
Credit Chris Lehman

The huge Christmas tree in the rotunda of the Oregon capitol building is back up again. Crews had to un-decorate and lower the 30-foot Noble Fir Tuesday to correct a fairly basic error made when the tree was raised the day before.

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Oregon Pension Cuts
6:31 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Kitzhaber's Budget Will Include Pension Cost-Cutting

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is asking lawmakers in Salem to take a hard look at cutting costs in the state's pension system. Some of those potential savings will be a part of the two-year spending plan that the Democrat will unveil this Friday.

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