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 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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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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