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

Lawmakers in Salem are considering a bill that would allow Oregonians to continue to use their driver's license to board airline flights next year.

For more than a century, Oregon voters selected a superintendent of public instruction every four years. That came to an end after lawmakers voted in 2011 to make it a non-elected position chosen by the governor.

Education advocates made their case for increased school funding in front of Oregon lawmakers Thursday. The subcommittee that focuses on education heard testimony from people who want lawmakers to boost K-12 funding from the $7.8 billion proposed in a preliminary budget framework.

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Oregon lawmakers are advancing a measure that would make it easier for transgender people to change their identity on government documents.

Whether it's going to the doctor's office or boarding a flight, there are lots of times when we're asked to show identification. Democratic Representative Rob Nosse of Portland said that can be difficult or even traumatic for people whose gender on their ID does not match how they present themselves.

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Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would let state workers keep the frequent flyer miles they earn while traveling on official business. The measure passed the Senate Tuesday.

Oregon lawmakers are once again debating whether testimony in front of grand juries should be recorded. It's not the first time the proposal has surfaced.

Lawmakers in Salem and Olympia are debating measures intended to crack down on distracted driving.

Oregon law enforcement agencies would have to track the race and sex of everyone they initiate contact with under a measure being considered at the state Capitol.

Sixteen-year-olds could register to vote under a bill being considered by Oregon lawmakers, but they wouldn't be allowed to actually vote until after they turn 18. Right now 17-year-olds can register to vote in Oregon.

The case of the Christian bakers from Gresham, Oregon, who refused to make a wedding cake for two women reached the Oregon Court of Appeals Thursday.

With Oregon’s biggest cities in a housing crunch, lawmakers are considering a measure that would require landlords to give specific reasons for evicting a tenant.

An Oregon court will hear arguments Thursday in a case involving a bakery owner who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is urging the Trump administration to view marijuana as an economic opportunity. Her comments came as Attorney General Jeff Sessions hinted Tuesday at a federal crackdown on recreational cannabis.

A measure under consideration in the Oregon Legislature would allow juries to award unlimited damages in lawsuits alleging negligence.

Juries can already award unlimited damages that are tied to actual economic harm done to victims. But the state has a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as "pain and suffering."

Transgender people in Oregon would have an easier way to change their identity on government documents under a bill being considered by Oregon lawmakers.

Right now, to change gender identity on an Oregon birth certificate, a transgender person must go through a very public process. That includes a court hearing and even posting a public notice in the lobby of the county courthouse. It can be intimidating for someone who's worried about harassment or discrimination.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would make it illegal to check your social media feeds while you're behind the wheel. A House panel takes up the bill Monday afternoon.

Members of the Oregon House are considering a proposal to ban the long-accepted practice of allowing members to introduce bills anonymously.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would give hourly employees more certainty knowing when they'll be scheduled to work. The measure would require employers to pay their employees for at least four hours if their shift is canceled or changed less than 24 hours in advance.

Oregon is the only state without an impeachment process. But some state lawmakers are trying to establish a way to impeach statewide elected officials, including the governor.

Another gun control debate is brewing in the Oregon Legislature.This year's high-profile gun legislation would attempt to close what supporters of the measure call two loopholes.

People convicted of paying for sex in Oregon would have their drivers' licenses suspended for six months under a bill being considered by state lawmakers. The suspension would be added to existing penalties for the crime.

Opponents testified to the Oregon House Judiciary Committee Tuesday that the bill would not serve as a deterrent since the crime is not related to driving.

Some Oregon lawmakers want to create a task force to examine whether the state should try to take control of federal lands. Supporters acknowledge there's no clear path to transferring federal lands to state ownership. This bill would create a task force that would study the feasibility and cost of pursuing such transfers.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would push the state toward adopting a traffic safety program that has the goal of eventually zeroing out all traffic fatalities.

Students in Oregon would learn more about the history and culture of the state's Native American tribes under a proposal being considered by state lawmakers.

Some Oregon farming groups want state lawmakers to allow counties to regulate or even ban genetically engineered crops. The legislature took away that right in 2013 during a special session. At the time, opponents of genetically engineered crops were told that a statewide policy would be forthcoming.

Oregon lawmakers are considering proposals aimed at making sure women are paid the same rate as men for similar work. Two measures were introduced this week.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order Thursday meant to counteract President Trump's recent directives on immigration. The Democrat also announced a possible lawsuit against Trump’s actions.

The legal age to purchase and use tobacco in Oregon would rise from 18 to 21 under a measure under consideration in the legislature. A similar measure is under consideration in Washington state this year.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture said it's recorded the largest Japanese beetle infestation in the state's history. But officials hope to stop the pest from spreading with an aggressive eradication program.

On Friday morning, Donald Trump will become president of the United States. The backlash against his election was intense in places like Portland and Seattle -- cities that overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton. But east of the Cascades, where support for Trump was widespread, opponents of the president-elect are working more quietly.

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