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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Oregon House Speaker
4:31 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

High Stakes Election For Possible Oregon House Speakers

Republican Bruce Hanna and Democrat Tina Kotek are in contention to be the next Oregon House speaker.
Credit Oregon Legislature

Democrats and Republicans in Oregon are locked in a fierce battle for control of the Oregon House. It's currently split right down the middle. Some of the biggest legislative money-raisers this year are two candidates who don't have serious opposition on the ballot.

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Renaming 'Squaw Creeks'
5:06 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Oregon Panel Considers Proposals For Renaming 'Squaw Creeks'

Two relatively obscure waterways in rural southeast Oregon are generating a heated dispute over geographic names. The small streams are both named "Squaw Creek," which is considered offensive to Native Americans. But the landowners in each case object to the proposed new names.

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Northwest Voters
4:13 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Northwest Voters Taking Their Time To Cast Votes

Oregon voters look to be taking their time in returning their ballots.
Credit Kevin Mooney

Northwest voters are in study mode. A week and a half before Election Day just 14 percent of Oregon voters had returned their ballot. There don’t appear to be many undecided voters in the presidential race. Chris Lehman spoke to voters in Salem about what it took to decide races further down the ballot.

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Oregon Ballot Measures
5:41 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Oregon Ballot Measure Campaigns Have Few Big Spenders

Oregon voters will decide seven citizen initiatives this year.
Credit Kevin Mooney

Oregon has a spirited history of legislating from the ballot. But this year looks pretty sleepy on the ballot measure front. Oregon voters will decide seven citizen initiatives this year.

But in an unusual twist, the groups behind three of the measures have stopped campaigning. And there's been relatively little spending by the backers of the four others.

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Oregon Liquor Chief
4:09 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Oregon Liquor Chief Announces Retirement

Steve Pharo, the director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, announced his retirement.
Northwest News Network

The embattled director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced Tuesday that he'll retire next month. Gov. John Kitzhaber pressured Steve Pharo to step down earlier this year. But the liquor agency head refused until now.

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Sea Lion Lawsuit
5:45 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Lawsuit Seeking To End Sea Lion Killing Moves Ahead

California sea lions consuming salmon just below the Columbia River’s Bonneville Dam.
U.S. Corps of Engineers

Supporters of an effort to stop the government from killing sea lions at Bonneville Dam made their case to a federal judge in Portland Friday. The animals are targeted because they feed on endangered salmon.

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Sprint's Stake In Clearwire
4:59 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Sprint Acquires Stake In Bellevue-Based Clearwire

Telecom giant Sprint is poised to take a controlling interest in Washington-based wireless provider Clearwire.
Northwest News Network

Telecommunications giant Sprint is poised to take a controlling interest in Washington-based wireless provider Clearwire. Clearwire's high-speed wireless data connections cover 80 major markets nationally, including a dozen in the Northwest.

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Write-In Candidates
6:28 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Despite Being Written Off, Write-Ins Remain In Race

African American Chamber of Commerce President Roy Jay watches as Republican Attorney General nominee James Buchal speaks.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

It’s been ten years since any Republican has won a statewide election in Oregon. In fact, the GOP failed to even get anyone on the ballot for two statewide offices in last May's primary. So at the last minute, the party recruited write-in candidates for Attorney General and Treasurer. Political observers have largely written off the two candidates. But that hasn’t stopped them from campaigning enthusiastically. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Legalizing Marijuana
4:47 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Feds Silent So Far On Marijuana Ballot Measures

Marijuana activists rally in support of Measure 80 in front of the Oregon state capitol Monday.
Virginia Alvino

Two years ago, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder opposed a California initiative to legalize marijuana. But this year, the Justice Department has been silent on similar measures before voters in Oregon, Washington and Colorado. Monday, a group of former federal drug officials urged the Obama administration to weigh in.

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Influential Tax Activist Dies
4:56 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Prominent Oregon Property Tax Activist Dies

A prominent outspoken Oregon anti-tax tax activist has died of a suspected heart attack. 74-year-old Don McIntire was found Friday morning in his Gresham home.

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