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.


Government And Politics
4:53 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Oregon Democrats Plan To Use Bigger Majorities In A Hurry

Senate Democratic leadership discussed their legislative priorities at the state capitol Monday.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 4:35 pm

Democrats in the Oregon Senate say they'll take advantage of their bigger majorities right out of the gate this session.

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Self-Driving Cars
5:11 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Oregon Lawmaker To Bring Back Driverless Car Bill

File photo of a Google driverless car operating on a testing path.
Steve Jurvetson Flickr

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 5:06 pm

One of the big draws at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is the rapidly advancing technology surrounding driverless cars.

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Kitzhaber Inauguration
7:05 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Kitzhaber Prepares His Fourth Inauguration Speech

John Kitzhaber delivers his third inaugural address on January 10, 2011 at the state capitol in Salem.
Credit Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network


Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has until January 12 to put the finishing touches on his inaugural address. But writing the speech should be old hat to the governor.

He's done it three times already.

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Alcohol Reporting Law
7:22 am
Fri January 2, 2015

New Oregon Law Aims To Prevent Underage Alcohol Poisoning

Credit Andreas Solberg / Flickr

People under age of 21 in Oregon will have legal immunity if they report alcohol-related medical emergencies. It's one of several new laws taking effect with the New Year.

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Minimum Wage Increases
7:01 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Oregon, Washington Minimum Wage Set For Increase

The minimum wage is going up by 15 cents an hourin both Washington and Oregon to $9.47 in Washington and $9.25 in Oregon.
Credit Washington Department of Labor and Industries

The new year will mean higher pay for low-wage workers in Oregon and Washington. The minimum wage in both states is set for an increase.

The minimum wage in both Washington and Oregon is tied to inflation. It's going up by 15 cents an hour in both states: to $9.47 in Washington and $9.25 in Oregon.

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Studded Tire Use
7:23 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Oregon Department Of Transportation Says Use Of Studded Tires Has Dropped Dramatically

The Oregon Department of Transportation says tires with metal studs cause millions of dollars in damage to highways each year.
Credit Kantor.JH / Wikimedia Commons


A perennial bill in the Oregon legislature is banning studded tires. Or taxing them because they chew up the roads.

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Northwest Exports
7:03 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Northwest Exporters Eye New Opportunities In Cuba

Credit Clyde Robinson / Flickr

Northwest farmers and orchardists are among the potential beneficiaries if the U.S. and Cuba normalize their relationship and the trade embargo ends. They're better among many still trying to sort out what President Obama's announcement Wednesday of changes in Cuba policy mean for them.

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Crime, Law And Justice
5:23 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Federal Court Turns Down Oregon's Attempt To Sue For-Profit College

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the State of Oregon in a lawsuit against the company that operates the University of Phoenix.

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:14 pm

Oregon has failed in its attempt to recover millions from a bad investment in a for-profit university.

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Oregon Pot
6:14 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Oregon Hires Top Marijuana Regulator

Credit Katherine Hitt Flickr



Oregon is gearing up for a year-long process of crafting regulations for recreational marijuana.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission Tuesday hired Tom Burns to lead the agency's implementation of Measure 91, which allows adults in Oregon to grow, possess, and sell marijuana under state regulation.

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Oregon Third Party
6:25 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Oregon Could Soon Have Third Major Political Party

The Independent Party is less than 300 voters away from reaching the threshold that would make them a major political party in Oregon.
Credit Chris Phan / Flickr

  The Independent Party is on the cusp of becoming Oregon’s third major political party.

Under state law a major party must have at least 5 percent of the number of voters who were registered at the last general election. The Independent Party is less than 300 voters away from reaching that threshold.

If they reach that status by next summer, it would mean that taxpayers would fund Independent Party primaries in 2016, just like they already do for Democrats and Republicans.

The Independent Party was founded just eight years ago.

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