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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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.

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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.

The Oregon House could vote as soon as Tuesday on a measure that would ban most no-cause evictions in the state.

Gas stations in eastern Oregon could offer self-service gas around the clock under a measure that passed the Oregon House 56-0 Thursday. For decades, Oregon and New Jersey were the only states that banned most drivers from pumping their own fuel. Two years ago, Oregon lawmakers backed away from that ban, but only for rural counties and only at night. The idea was to prevent drivers from getting stranded in a small town where the only station had closed for the day. The new law would allow those rural stations to offer self-serve around the clock.

If advocates have their way, Oregon would join California and Hawaii as the only states where people would have to be at least 21 in order to legally purchase or use tobacco products. The bill would focus the penalties on businesses that sell the products to people under age 21.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to lobby against the Republican health care bill designed to replace the Affordable Care Act.

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.

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