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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The credit reporting agency Equifax doesn’t have to notify the estimated 1.7 million Oregonians who may have been impacted by the company’s massive data breach.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she requested a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his visit to Portland Tuesday. But she says she never got a response from Sessions or his staff.

Supporters of a so-called “cap and invest” proposal are laying the groundwork for the Oregon Legislature to take on the issue next year.

Oregon lawmakers are returning to the Capitol Monday for a three-day flurry of meetings. It’s the first round of “Legislative Days” since the 2017 session adjourned in July.

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson has turned over a database of state voter information to the Trump administration.

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson is hearing from opponents and supporters of a proposed change to the state's initiative process that could help campaigns jump-start the signature gathering process.

The August heat set records in some Oregon cities. And not surprisingly, the hot weather was especially brutal for people who work outside.

Critics of a new Oregon law that would make it easier to get guns out of the hands of people suffering from mental health crises are gathering signatures to overturn it.

Oregonians will find out Wednesday if they'll receive a kicker rebate on their taxes next year.

The kicker is that unique Oregon institution that dishes out money to taxpayers when the state's official economists under-predict how much revenue the state will collect over a two-year period.

A count of Oregon's homeless population shows a 6 percent increase in the number of people living in shelters or on the streets. The tally takes place every two years in January and is meant to be a snapshot of a specific point in time.

Nike co-founder Phil Knight made his largest ever donation to an Oregon political race this week. The recipient is Republican candidate for governor Knute Buehler.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed into law a bill to require health insurance policies to cover the cost of abortions.

A million people may flock to Oregon over the coming week to view the total eclipse of the sun. State officials said Tuesday that they're as prepared as they can possibly be. 



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.

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