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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Episcopal Latinos
5:58 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Nothwest Episcopal Churches Court Latinos

The Reverand Kurt Neilson leads communion at a Spanish language mass at Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church in Portland.
Photo by Chris Lehman. Northwest News Network

In Oregon, the number of Latino Episcopalians has increased more than five-fold over the past decade. Church leaders say the influx is, in part, because the denomination's worship services look and sound familiar to Hispanics raised in the Catholic Church. But as Correspondent Chris Lehman reports, Northwest Episcopal Churches are luring Latinos with a focused marketing campaign.

The 10 o'clock high mass at Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church in Portland, Oregon probably sounds a lot like it did when the congregation was founded nearly a century ago.

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Wash. Senate Candidate Threatened
5:09 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Wash. Man Arrested For Threatening Legislative Candidate

Eileen Qutub, a Republican candidate for Washington State Senate, received threatening emails.
Northwest News Network

A Vancouver, Wash., man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a state Senate candidate. The Clark County sheriff's office took Gary Owen into custody Thursday on charges of sending two threatening emails to Eileen Qutub , a Republican. She described the letters as "vile" and "sexually perverted" and said that Owen threatened to shoot her in the head.

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Sikh Vigil
7:13 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Oregon Sikhs Remember Those Killed In Shooting

Sikhs gather for a candlelight vigil in Salem.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Hundreds gathered in Salem Tuesday evening to remember victims of the recent mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Sikh and non-Sikh speakers at the candlelight vigil emphasized peace and unity. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman spoke with some of those who attended the vigil.

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Tsunami Debris Cleanup
6:06 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Tsunami Debris Cleanup Costs Mounting

This refrigerator with Japanese labels was found on Long Beach on July 5.
Shelly Pollock

The costs of cleaning up Japanese tsunami debris along Northwest coasts are adding up. Oregon says it's reached the half-million dollar mark. And officials say debris is now being spotted in unexpected places.

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Oregon Death Penalty
6:40 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Judge Says Haugen Can Reject Execution Reprieve

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber will likely appeal a decision made Friday that a death row inmate can reject a reprieve. Last fall Kitzhaber issued a temporary moratorium on executions in Oregon just two weeks before two-time murderer Gary Haugen was scheduled to die. Haugen challenged the reprieve in court, saying he wants to be put to death.

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Oregon Governor's Execution Reprieve
4:51 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Judges Overturns Kitzhaber's Reprieve Of Haugen

Death row inmate Gary Haugen.
Oregon Department of Corrections

An Oregon judge says death row inmate Gary Haugen has the right to reject a reprieve from Gov. John Kitzhaber. Circuit Court Judge Timothy Alexander's ruling Friday paves the way for a possible new execution date for the two-time murderer.

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New Oregon Trains Behind Schedule
5:40 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Delivery Of Oregon's New Trains Running Months Behind Schedule

Oregon's two new train sets are months away from completion at a Wisconsin factory.
Oregon Department of Transportation

Two passenger trains commissioned by the state of Oregon are months behind schedule. The trains were due to arrive nearly two months ago and enter service this fall at a cost of $36 million. But they haven't even left the factory in Wisconsin yet.

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Oregon State Police Memorial
5:32 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Oregon State Police Break Ground On New Memorial

Oregon State Police officers perform a "ceremonial flag fold" at the future site of the Oregon State Police memorial.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

The Oregon State Police broke ground on a memorial Wednesday to honor fallen Oregon state troopers. A crowd of dignitaries listened somberly as the officers’ names were read aloud.

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Oregon Federal Foreclosure Assistance Funds
5:51 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Oregon Has Highest Distribution Rate Of Federal Foreclosure Assistance Funds

A graph showing the rate at which states have used federal “Hardest Hit” dollars.
Northwest News Network

Oregon has been the most aggressive state in distributing federal funds aimed at preventing foreclosures. The state has tapped into nearly half of the $220 million it received under the “Hardest Hit” program. That's a higher rate than any of the other 17 states and Washington, D.C., that were awarded the funds.

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Northwest Ballot Measures
5:48 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Northwest Ballot Measures Shaping Up

Oregon's ballot will have nine statewide measures for voters to decide on.
Mitchell Laurren-Ring Flickr

Northwest voters now have a better sense of which ballot measures they'll need to decide this fall. The Oregon Secretary of State's office announced Friday which initiatives qualified for the ballot. Voters in Washington and Idaho also have several statewide questions to consider.

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