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 Race
6:18 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Democrats, Republicans Vie For Control Of Oregon House

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

Oregon is not considered a battleground in the Presidential election. President Obama is strongly favored to win the state’s seven electoral votes. What’s more, Democrats also hold every single statewide office in Oregon and far outnumber Republicans in terms of voter registration. But there’s an exception to the one-party dominance: The Oregon House is evenly divided. 30 Democrats to 30 Republicans. And both parties are hard at work in legislative battlegrounds to swing the majority in their direction. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Northwest Dry Spell
5:56 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Northwest Dry Spell Almost At An End

Forecasters say some coastal mountain areas in the Northwest could see up to eight inches of rain this weekend.
Satellite image courtesy National Weather Service

The streak of dry weather in much of the Northwest is about to come to a soggy end. A weather system fueled by subtropical moisture is bearing down on the region.

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Voter Registration Data
5:48 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Voter Registration Increase Lags Last Presidential Election

Registering to vote is easier than ever. But Northwest residents don’t appear as eager to vote as they were during the last presidential election. As the deadline to register draws near, state figures show a smaller uptick in voter registration than in 2008.

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Synthetic Marijuana Dangers
4:23 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Kidney Failures Linked To Synthetic Marijuana

K2, a popular brand of “Spice” mixture.
National Institutes of Health

Public health officials in the Northwest are raising concerns about a relatively new type of synthetic marijuana that’s been linked to a series of kidney failure cases in the region.

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Advertising For Facebook
5:07 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Oregon Ad Firm Lands Facebook Account

Portland's Wieden + Kennedy has created Facebook's first-ever ad campaign.
Facebook

An Oregon-based advertising company really likes Facebook. The social media giant unveiled Thursday a first-ever advertising campaign that was created by Portland firm Wieden + Kennedy. The company will also serve as Facebook's chief advertising agency.

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Oregon Campaign Contributions
4:31 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Oregon Supreme Court Affirms Unlimited Campaign Contributions

Oregon political campaigns will continue to have access to unlimited campaign contributions. That's the upshot of a ruling Thursday from the Oregon Supreme Court.

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Mental Hospital Museum
6:45 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Museum Opens At "Cuckoo's Nest" Film Site

One section of the museum includes props used in the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoos's Nest," including this hydrotherapy unit that appeared in several key scenes.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

A 130-year-old mental institution might seem like an odd place for a museum. But historians and mental health advocates have fought to preserve and tell the Oregon State Hospital's long and sordid history.

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Lack of Latino Officials
7:46 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Latinos Barely Represented On Elected Bodies

Photo Credit: Chris Lehman

Across the Northwest, Latinos make up nearly 12 percent of the population, but only two percent of the region’s elected officials.

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Oil Spill Readiness
4:29 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Columbia River Spill Comes During Series Of Oil Spill Readiness Hearings

Just as Washington environmental regulators finish up a series of meetings on oil spill readiness, a half-mile sheen appeared on the Columbia River near Longview. Contractors quickly contained the diesel spill this week. It's one of about 1,800 spills in Oregon and Washington each year.

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Inmates And Students Debate
5:31 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Unconventional Debate Setting Pits Prisoners Versus College Students

Travis Ramsey makes a point during a debate as other inmates listen.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Toastmasters International is a public speaking club. But one of the most active Northwest chapters is in a place where its members can’t actually go out in public. We’re talking about the chapter based at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. The inmates who participate get the chance to practice their communications skills with a university debate team. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman went behind the walls of the maximum security prison for this report.

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