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 freelance basis. He's filed stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda. He lives in Salem with his wife and children.

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Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins says she was "taken aback" by the amount of misinformation that surrounded surrounding Oregon's recent election process.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown rolled out a two-year spending plan Thursday at the State Capitol. The proposal tackles a $1.7 billion budget shortfall with a mix of program cuts and tax hikes.

With Thanksgiving on the mind of most people this week, a new report shows the number of Oregonians who aren't sure where their next meal is coming from continues to rise.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has filled two high-profile vacancies in state government. The Democrat announced Friday appointments to head the Oregon Lottery and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Oregon lawmakers didn't get much by way of good news Wednesday with the release of the latest revenue projections. Those show a $52 million drop in anticipated revenue during the upcoming budget cycle.

That means lawmakers will have to patch up an even bigger budget shortfall, which is already expected to exceed $1.5 billion.

The Independent Party of Oregon is looking ahead after their first time being on a general election ballot as a major party. The group didn't win any races but leaders say the party did make its presence known.

The state of Oregon is running behind schedule when it comes to conducting food safety inspections. That's the conclusion of an audit released Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State.

According to numbers released Monday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office, about 42 percent of people who were automatically registered to vote this year did so in this month's election.

More voters cast a ballot than ever before in this month's election in Oregon. The Oregon Secretary of State's office announced Thursday that 2,022,384 voters took part.

Oregonians could be voting in two years on whether they want to remain a part of the United States. Sponsors of an initiative petition called the Oregon Secession Act submitted the initial paperwork just after Tuesday's election results became known.

Democrats now have a 30-year winning streak when it comes to the Oregon governor's office. Kate Brown easily held off Republican challenger Bud Pierce Tuesday night.

Opponents of a possible water bottling plant in the Columbia Gorge are weighing their options now that a judge has approved a water rights transfer that's key to the plant's existence.

A new state audit says the Oregon agency that monitors natural hazards has engaged in some questionable fiscal practices. The report says the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries is also taking steps to correct the problem.

Democrats are in firm control of both chambers of the Oregon legislature. But in the state House, nearly one-quarter of the current members won't be returning to the capitol next year. That's led to a number of hotly contested races for open seats.

And many of those battleground districts are in the suburbs.

Oregonians are returning their ballots at a faster pace so far than either of the past two presidential elections. But what happens to all those ballots before they get counted?

The top civil rights lawyer at the Oregon Department of Justice is suing his employer. Erious Johnson alleged in a lawsuit filed in federal court that the agency violated his civil rights.

The daily newspaper in Oregon's capital is undergoing some changes. The Statesman Journal in Salem laid off two top newsroom employees and has sold the downtown building that houses its newsroom.

No matter where you live in Oregon, all you need is a single first-class stamp if you want to return your ballot by mail. Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins said ballots in all 36 counties are small enough that just one "Forever" stamp is all it takes.

A long-time veteran with the Oregon Department of Corrections has been promoted to serve as the agency's interim deputy director. The move comes after the previous deputy director resigned after less than two years on the job.

Marijuana retailers began collecting a 25 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales starting in January. That money is adding up quickly.

The three major-party contenders for Oregon treasurer faced off Monday in a debate that often focused on the candidates' qualifications for the job. Republican Jeff Gudman, Democrat Tobias Read and the Independent Party's Chris Telfer were part of the conversation during a broadcast of OPB's "Think Out Loud."

Voters in Oregon and Washington can expect to see ballots arriving in their mailboxes starting later this week. And this year, more of those ballots than ever will go out in the mail.

Oregon Department of Transportation / FLICKR Creative Commons

Oregonians will be able to use their drivers licenses to enter federal buildings until at least next June. That's because of an extension granted by the U.S. government this week.

Working for Oregon's Department of Human Services is stressful. That's one of the findings of an agency-wide survey released Wednesday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

After more than a decade of construction, a section of U.S. Highway 20 in Oregon's Coast Range is now open to traffic. But work isn't done on the project yet.

There's about one month remaining to submit proposals to buy Oregon's Elliott State Forest. The Oregon Department of State Lands said so far, no one has expressed interest in the 82,000 acre property in southwest Oregon.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown discussed a potential new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River during a phone call this week. Inslee mentioned his conversation with Governor Brown during an interview with the editorial board of the Columbian newspaper in Vancouver.

You can now use your credit or debit card when you visit the DMV in Oregon. The agency is now accepting plastic at all 60 of its field offices.

Torben Hansen / FLICKR Creative Commons

Two law enforcement groups in Oregon say drug possession convictions should result in lighter sentences than they currently do.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has appointed Margaret Salazar as the new head of the state agency that handles works to provide affordable housing. The announcement was made as lawmakers gear up to tackle housing issues during next year's legislative session.

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