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."

Pages

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Ore./Wash. Prison Crowding
3:55 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Oregon, Washington Anticipate Higher Demand For Prison Beds

The Oregon Department of Corrections.
Photo credit: Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. - Corrections officials in Olympia and Salem are bracing for an expected increase in prisoners. The Washington Department of Corrections is predicting a need for 900 more beds in the next four years. And a new report issued Friday confirms an earlier forecast that Oregon will need housing for 2,000 more inmates by the end of the decade.

Read more
MegaMillions Lottery
4:25 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

State Lotteries Report Brisk Sales In Advance Of MegaMillions Jackpot

The jackpot for Friday's MegaMillions drawing is currently $540 million -- the largest in world history.
Photo credit: Flickr user vvvracer Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – Sales are brisk across the Northwest for Friday's MegaMillions drawing. The $540 million lottery jackpot is being called the largest in world history. The high-profile jackpot also means state lotteries of Oregon, Washington and Idaho are anticipating a payday of their own.

Read more
Governor's Mansion Radon
5:29 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Oregon Governor's Mansion Has Elevated Radon Levels

Neal Correy of EcoTech checks a radon monitor in the basement of the Oregon governor's mansion in Salem.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – The governor's mansion in Oregon has tested positive for elevated levels of radon. Technicians found the readings Wednesday when they picked up monitors left in the basement of the stately, two-story home known as Mahonia Hall. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Read more
Oregon Doulas
5:03 am
Wed March 28, 2012

More Mothers Look To Doulas As Oregon Explores Payment Options

Khai East used a doula when she gave birth to her daughter, Chloe.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

PORTLAND - An Oregon health agency is recommending the use of doulas as a way to reduce infant mortality among low-income and ethnic minority households. Correspondent Chris Lehman explains what a doula actually is and whether there's any money in the health care bureaucracy to pay for them.

Read more
Northwest News
5:06 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Home Prices Continue To Drop In Seattle, Portland

"Home prices in both Seattle and Portland are down again. Photo by Timothy Ellis/Flickr
Photo credit: Timothy Ellis/Flickr Northwest News Network

Home prices continue to fall in the Northwest. New figures released show yet another drop in both Seattle and Portland.

The S&P/Case-Schiller Index measures housing prices in 20 large metropolitan areas around the country. The newest figures are through January and in them, both Seattle and Portland hit new lows for the current economic downturn. Average home prices in both cities are down about four percent from a year ago. Steve Thoele is an agent with Keller-Williams Realty in Portland. He blogs about housing trends in Oregon.

Read more

Pages