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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Pharmaceutical Settlement
4:10 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Northwest States Among Those Splitting Pharmaceutical Settlement

Oregon, Washington and Idaho are among the 44 states splitting a $100 million settlement with pharmaceutical giant Abbott Labs. The agreement announced Monday resolves a dispute over the company's marketing of a drug called Depakote .

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Oregon School Mascots
6:29 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Oregon Board Close To Vote On Native American Mascot Ban

Molalla High School has removed Native American imagery from most sports uniforms, but the logo remains on some athletic facilities.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Fifteen Oregon schools may have to change their sports imagery soon. A state panel could vote later this month [May 17] on whether to ban Native American-themed mascots. The proposal faces resistance, as Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman found on a visit to the Willamette Valley town of Molalla.

This fall, Denise Everhart's son will become the fifth generation in his family to attend Molalla High School. He plans to play football.

Everhart: "He will be on the field as an Indian."

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Oregon Medicare
4:53 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Oregon Leaders Celebrate Federal Money For Medicaid Overhaul

The federal government has agreed to pump nearly $2 billion into Oregon's experiment at changing the way it delivers health care to low income people. The news Thursday came after Governor John Kitzhaber and three other state officials flew to Washington to personally lobby for the cash.

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May Day Rallies
6:48 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Northwest Rallies On May Day

Demonstrators gathered and marched near the state capitol building in Salem.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber says he'll convene a workgroup to study possible changes to the state's driver's license laws for undocumented immigrants. That news prompted cheers at a May Day rally in front of the state capitol Tuesday evening. Thousands of people marked the day with demonstrations in Salem, along with other cities across the Northwest. Correspondent Chris Lehman has this report from the march in Salem.

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Oregon A.G.
5:37 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Governor To Pick Next Oregon Attorney General

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is weighing his options for what comes next, now that Attorney General John Kroger has announced he'll step down from the job. It's the first time in 20 years that a sitting Attorney General has left the job early.

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Sea Lion Killing
4:57 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Tribal Group Claims Sea Lions Munch More Salmon Than Previously Thought

A California sea lion feasts on a salmon.
Photo courtesy of CRITFC

A coalition of tribal groups says sea lions are eating far more salmon along the Columbia River than previously thought. The claim comes in a legal fight over whether wildlife officials should be killing some of the hungry sea lions.

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Oregon Attorney General
5:50 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Democrats Vie For Oregon Attorney General's Job

Ellen Rosenblum and Dwight Holton took part in a debate at the Salem City Club.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Oregon Democrats will once again be virtually assured of choosing the next state Attorney General during their primary next month. That's because for the second election cycle in a row, no Republicans entered the race.

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Marijuana Activists
5:37 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Marijuana Activists Target Oregon Attorney General Candidate

Medical marijuana activists are targeting a candidate for Oregon Attorney General.
Photo Credit: O'Dea Wikimedia Commons

A candidate for Oregon state Attorney General faces an unusual new opposition campaign. Democrat Dwight Holton has become the target of medical marijuana activists. Holton faces retired judge Ellen Rosenblum in the May Democratic primary.

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Oregon Death Penalty
4:37 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Death Row Inmate Seeks To Overturn Execution Reprieve

Gary Haugen was set to die by lethal injection last December.
Photo credit: Oregon DOC Oregon Department of Corrections

An Oregon death row inmate will make an unusual argument in court Wednesday. Gary Haugen says Governor John Kitzhaber overstepped his authority by halting all executions in the state.

Two time convicted murderer Gary Haugen was set to die by lethal injection last December. But two weeks before the scheduled execution, Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber put Oregon's death penalty on hold. The governor wants lawmakers and the public to reexamine the state's capital punishment system.

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Starbucks Boycott
4:37 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Starbucks Opponents Take Boycott Attempt Abroad

The Starbucks store at Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington. The company is being boycotted by an anti-gay group.
Photo credit: Postdlf Wikimedia commons

SEATTLE, Wash. -- A group that opposes same-sex marriage is taking its boycott of Starbucks to the other side of the world. The National Organization For Marriage is upset that the Seattle-based coffee chain has come out in favor of legalizing gay marriage in Washington state as well as nationally.

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