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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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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Highschool Mascot Controversy
4:24 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Oregon School District Digs In Its Heels On Native Mascot

The school's mascot has come under fire for its stereotypical depiction of Native Americans.
Photo courtesy of Lebanon High School

An Oregon School District is digging in its heels against a proposed state ban on Native American mascots. The School Board in the Willamette Valley farm town of Lebanon will consider a resolution Thursday to reject the ban.

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Northwest Immigration
5:58 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Even In Down Economy, Northwest Draws New Residents

Forest Spiritdancer, Ted Layman and Marie Montalbano moved to Portland last year from the Midwest.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

PORTLAND - The Northwest has long been a draw for people moving here from other parts of the United States. That continues to be a key driver of the region’s economy. Despite high unemployment rates, Oregon and Washington still lure folks from the Midwest and elsewhere. And they bring in new money and job skills. In a collaboration with public radio's Changing Gears, Chris Lehman introduces us to some rust belt transplants to the Northwest.

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Anti-Coal
3:52 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Anti-Coal Protesters Take Message To Top Oregon Officials

Andy Harris with the group Physicians for Social Responsibility speaks at a rally against coal export terminals outside a meeting of the Oregon State Land Board in Salem.
Photo Credit: Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – Environmental groups are mobilizing against proposals to export coal through Northwest terminals. Protesters rallied outside a land use meeting in Salem Monday. They're asking Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber to block permits for several coal terminals.

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Oregon Medicade
5:02 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Care Groups Line Up To Receive Oregon Health Dollars

Oregon will change the way it handles medicade in the state.
Photo Credit: M.O. Stevens Wikimedia commons

The state of Oregon is getting a robust response from health care providers to re-shape the way Oregon provides medical services to low income people. Before a deadline this week, state health administrators received more than 50 proposals to create regional collaborations. The strategy is part of Governor John Kitzhaber’s so-called health-care transformation. Salem correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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1940 Census
5:13 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Northwesterners Look For Details Among 1940 Census Data

Excerpt of a 1940 Census Poster
Image source: U.S. Census Bureau

Americans are pouring over the newly released data from the 1940 Census. Demand was so high Monday that the National Archives website crashed. But as correspondent Chris Lehman reports, many people in the Northwest have an extra challenge in finding information about their relatives.

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