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.

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Oregon lawmakers are advancing a measure that would make it a crime to attach a tracking device to another person's vehicle without their permission.

Oregon lawmakers are moving ahead with a measure that would require railroads to explain how they'd deal with hazardous spills. A legislative budget subcommittee voted Tuesday to advance the measure.

Oregon lawmakers have two weeks left to finish work in this year's legislative session. Major issues still remain on their agenda.

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature and Gov. Kate Brown say they are giving up trying to increase taxes on corporations during this year's legislative session.

Oregon lawmakers want to make it harder for federal immigration agents to find people living in the country illegally.

The future of a possible corporate tax hike is in doubt at the Oregon Capitol after a flurry of activity Monday yielded no progress on the issue.

As Oregon lawmakers continue to debate whether to change the way the state taxes businesses, some public employee unions are threatening to take the question to voters.

It's part of a battle at the State Capitol over how to bridge a $1.4 billion budget gap.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will sign a bill Thursday that aims to make sure women are paid the same as men. Advocates say the measure will also help ensure disabled people are paid fairly.

Oregon lawmakers are moving forward with a key piece of the upcoming state spending plan. A legislative budget panel Thursday approved an $8.2 billion budget for K-12 schools.

Several Oregon lawmakers hailed the victims of Friday's stabbing on a Portland light rail train as "heroes."

Two people died and a third was seriously injured when they intervened to protect two teenage girls from a man making threatening, racist comments.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

A proposed $8 billion transportation spending package in Oregon could include a tax on the sale of bicycles. It's a funding idea that's often talked about but has rarely been implemented nationwide.

Brad Welch works as an IT manager in Eugene. He's been commuting to work by bicycle for more than 30 years, rain or shine.

"It's a way to wake you up in the morning, and kind of wind down after work when you leave,” said Welch. “Then when you go out recreationally, then you can enjoy the country.”

Oregon lawmakers have signed off on a measure to ensure that women will be paid the same as men. The Oregon House approved the bill Monday.

The May revenue forecast is a critical piece of information for lawmakers as they decide how to spend taxpayer dollars during the next two-year budget cycle.

Supporters of a proposal to cover the medical costs of all Oregon children rallied at the state Capitol Friday. A pair of bills under consideration in Salem—HB 2726 and SB 558—would extend Oregon Health Plan coverage to include kids who are in the country illegally.

Oregon lawmakers have signed off on a bill that would make it easier for transgender people to change their identity on state government documents like a drivers license or birth certificate.

The Senate voted 23-6 Wednesday to approve the bill, which now heads to the governor's desk.

Oregon lawmakers got their first look at a proposed $8 billion transportation funding package Monday night. The money would come from a higher gas tax, higher vehicle registration fees, new taxes on cars and bicycles, and a statewide payroll tax.

The $8 billion would come in over the next ten years, with work on some congestion relief projects starting as soon as next year. 


Oregon House Democrats pitched a plan to overhaul the way the state taxes businesses Thursday. The proposal is part of an effort to bridge a $1.6 billion shortfall in the upcoming budget.

Oregonians could petition a court to revoke the gun rights of a household member in crisis under a bill approved Monday in the Oregon Senate.

Oregon lawmakers are one step closer to banning the use of all handheld electronic devices while driving.

The Oregon House approved a measure Monday that would clarify that the state's ban on cell phone use while driving applies to all functions of a smart phone, not just texting and talking.

Derek Jensen / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/lmd624r

Red-light cameras in Oregon could soon be also nabbing drivers for speeding. The Oregon House could vote as soon as Monday on a bill that would allow cities to use the cameras to issue speeding tickets.

Red-light cameras in Oregon could soon be also nabbing drivers for speeding. The Oregon House could vote as soon as Monday on a bill that would allow cities to use the cameras to issue speeding tickets.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Sexual assault victims under age 21 could come forward to police without being cited for underage alcohol possession under a measure moving ahead in the Oregon Legislature.

The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the bill. Republican Sen. Kim Thatcher said that while the bill does let minors in possession off the hook, it's a matter of priorities.





The state of Oregon has announced a new round of taxpayer-funded grants to help schools and other public buildings better withstand a major earthquake.

A key deadline for measures to advance in the Oregon Legislature has passed. That means Oregon lawmakers now have a better sense of what's remaining on their agenda.

Hundreds of bills -- some of which enjoyed bipartisan support -- are no longer in play.

JOE WOLF / FLICKR - HTTP://TINYURL.COM/Z8O86QR

Oregon lawmakers heard public testimony Monday on a set of bills to regulate guns.

One bill would prohibit people who have a standing restraining order filed by their boyfriend or girlfriend from owning firearms. Currently, that law only applies to people who've lived together.

Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese testified in favor of the measure.

"Simply put, keeping guns out of the hands of abusers is the best way to prevent them from shooting and killing their victims,” Reese said.

Oregon lawmakers won't vote on a measure that would create a new crime called "militia terrorism." That announcement came from a key lawmaker Wednesday during a hearing on the bill, which drew plenty of opposition.

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson wants to restore ballot access to some Oregonians whose voter status has been changed to "inactive."

People who legally buy marijuana in Oregon would enjoy a greater level of privacy under a measure headed for Gov. Kate Brown’s desk. The Oregon House Monday approved a bill that would stop cannabis retailers from recording personal information such as a customer's name, age or address.

Parents would have to keep their small children in rear-facing car seats longer under a bill approved Monday in the Oregon House. The current rear-racing requirement only applies until a child turns 1 or is at least 20 pounds.

The Oregon House narrowly voted Tuesday to ban most no-cause evictions and to allow cities to pass local rent control ordinances.

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