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.

Ways to Connect

The costs associated with the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are still being tallied up. They include police overtime, lodging, meals and fuel. Initial estimates show the total will easily top $1 million.

Two measures aimed at protecting low-income Oregonians from rising housing costs are moving forward in the state legislature.

Gun buyers in Oregon could have to wait longer to get a weapon if there's a delay in processing their criminal background check. The Oregon House narrowly approved the measure Monday.

Last November, a long-time Oregon state representative announced he is facing a "likely diagnosis" of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Vic Gilliam said he would continue to serve as long as his conditions allowed.

Oregon lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to a measure that will increase the state's minimum wage over the next six years. The vote in the Oregon House now sends the measure to the governor's desk.

It's been one year since Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber resigned. The Democrat stepped down last February amid an influence peddling investigation.

Oregon lawmakers are advancing a measure that would allow law enforcement officers involved in fatal shootings to ask a court to shield their name for 90 days.

Republicans in the Oregon legislature are taking advantage of a little-used procedural move to force bills to be read out loud in their entirety. It's adding up to some lengthy floor sessions.

A plan to hike Oregon's minimum wage is moving forward in the state legislature. The state Senate Thursday approved a measure that would increase the wage to as much as $14.75 per hour over the next six years.

The 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is over. The final four remaining occupiers surrendered to the FBI Thursday morning without incident.

Opponents of genetically engineered crops in Oregon want state lawmakers to allow local governments to ban those crops. The measure under consideration would reverse a bill approved during a special session less than three years ago.

Customers of Portland-based health insurance company Moda should rest assured their policies will be honored. That was the message from state regulators Monday after they announced a consent order meant to keep the company afloat.

A plan to hike Oregon's minimum wage is moving forward in the Oregon Legislature. A measure cleared a committee Friday and is headed for a vote on the Senate floor.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would close what some activists call a "loophole" in the state's criminal background check law. It allows gun sales to go through if a background check isn't completed by the end of the next business day.

A political showdown at the Oregon Capitol could result in some very long floor sessions this month. And at the heart of the debate is a clause in the state Constitution that dates back to 1859.

Oregon lawmakers want to continue to root out cases of police profiling. A House panel Tuesday advanced a measure that would require additional research into the issue.

An Oregon state lawmaker is making what he calls a long shot attempt at heading off an initiative that would raise corporate taxes.

Oregon lawmakers kicked off a five-week legislative session Monday with a long "to do" list. But some at the Capitol think the legislature is overstepping its authority.

People from three Pacific island nations have the right to live and work in the United States, thanks to a unique 1986 treaty. But a separate Congressional action 20 years ago means that they are not eligible for Medicaid -- even those who become taxpayers.

Many have settled in Oregon, where lawmakers will consider a bill in February that would require the state to subsidize medical care for people from these nations.

The Marshall Islands are an independent nation made up of more than 1,000 small islands near the equator, about 2,000 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Oregon lawmakers return to the state Capitol Monday for a whirlwind legislative session. Legislators are expected to debate topics such as the minimum wage, corporate taxes, and gun control.

As law enforcement increases its activity surrounding the occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon Governor Kate Brown said her primary concern continues to be the safety of Oregon residents.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown wants state lawmakers to approve roughly $500,000 in emergency funding to cover costs associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability said Monday Judge Vance Day should be removed from office after refusing to perform same-sex weddings. Day's spokesperson said in a statement that the judge would vigorously defend his innocence and his rights at the state's highest court.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum wants state lawmakers to fund a new set of investigators specializing in elder abuse cases. It comes as more than 150 prosecutors, attorneys and law enforcement officers meet to discuss elder abuse in Salem Tuesday.

The union-backed group that's seeking to increase taxes on some of Oregon's largest corporations is ramping up its signature collection efforts this weekend.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced her support for a major hike in the state's minimum wage. Brown said she hopes her new proposal will encourage the backers of two initiative campaigns to lay down their signature-gathering pens.

Brown's proposal would raise the hourly minimum wage to $15.52 in the Portland metro area and $13.50 in the rest of the state. The increase would be phased in over the next six years.

An Oregon county is suing the state over forestry money. Commissioners from Linn County, located between Salem and Eugene, announced the $1.4 billion class-action lawsuit Wednesday at a press conference at the state Capitol.

The two leading candidates for Oregon governor will hold competing fundraisers just down the street from each other Tuesday evening.

The state agency that manages hunting and fishing in Oregon is lacking a long-term strategy according to an audit by the Oregon Secretary of State's office released Thursday.

There's been a lot of interest in opening a licensed recreational marijuana business in Oregon. The state received nearly 200 paid submissions in the first two days since it began taking applications.

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