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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Marijuana retailers began collecting a 25 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales starting in January. That money is adding up quickly.

Oregonians will be able to use their drivers licenses to enter federal buildings until at least next June. That's because of an extension granted by the U.S. government this week.

After more than a decade of construction, a section of U.S. Highway 20 in Oregon's Coast Range is now open to traffic. But work isn't done on the project yet.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown discussed a potential new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River during a phone call this week. Inslee mentioned his conversation with Governor Brown during an interview with the editorial board of the Columbian newspaper in Vancouver.

Women and girls in Oregon are more likely to be survivors of sexual violence, and have the highest incidence of reported depression in the country, according to a report released Wednesday on the status of women in the state.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

If a group that rallied at the state capitol in Salem Thursday has its way, Oregon lawmakers will take up two major pieces of legislation designed to improve rights for renters next year.

Advocates say they want to limit the amount of money landlords could increase rent each year and they want to make it harder for landlords to evict tenants.

Anna Blackman is a Certified Nurses Assistant who lives in Springfield, Oregon. She said she and her husband were kicked out of their home with little warning.

If a group that rallied at the state capitol in Salem Thursday has its way, Oregon lawmakers will take up two major pieces of legislation designed to improve rights for renters next year.

According to a new report from a state task force, the ratio of students to school nurses has more than doubled in the past five years in Oregon.

Officials with the Oregon Department of Human Services are telling people who rely on its services to prepare for a potential round of budget cuts next year. Agency leaders Thursday outlined possible cost-cutting scenarios.

Steady job growth means Oregon's economy will continue to do well in the short term. But storm clouds are on the horizon. That was the prediction Wednesday from state economists.


Voter registration is surging in Oregon. The Secretary of State's office said Tuesday that nearly 300,000 new voters have been added over the past year. But the uptick isn't due to interest in the presidential election.

Most of the newly registered voters this year came via the state's new Motor Voter law . It took effect in January and it means that anyone who gets or renews an Oregon drivers' license is automatically registered to vote if they aren't already.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made another big-money contribution to an Oregon candidate. The recipient this time is Democratic Gov. Kate Brown.

More than a third of the credits issued under a tax credit program for renewable energy companies in Oregon went to problematic projects. That's according to an independent analysis issued Thursday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

The Oregon Health Authority has a lot on its plate. It arranges medical care for low income people, operates the state's mental hospitals, and even oversees the medical marijuana programs.

Oregon's child welfare system will have a new leader in November. The Oregon Department of Human Services Wednesday announced the results of a nationwide job search.

Some drinking fountains have been turned off at the Oregon capitol building after tests showed an unsafe level of lead in the water. Officials have ordered more tests to determine the source of the lead.

A series of intense wildfire seasons has taken a toll on the Oregon Department of Forestry. That's according to an audit released Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

The head of Oregon's Elections Division abruptly stepped down this week, just three months before voting begins in this fall's election. Jim Williams wrote in a resignation letter dated July 19, “It is with a heavy heart and regret that I hereby offer my resignation.”

Delegates from Oregon and Washington officially cast their votes for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Oregonians will vote on an initiative that aims to increase the state's high school graduation rate. The Oregon Secretary of State's office announced Thursday that supporters of IP 65 had gathered enough valid signatures for the measure to appear on the November ballot.

Oregon voters may get the chance to ban the sale of items made from certain wildlife species this November. Backers of an initiative that would do just that submitted signatures Thursday in an attempt to get their measure on the November ballot.

Tens of thousands of Oregonians will get a raise Friday when the state's minimum wage goes up for the first time in 18 months.

A newly released report from the left-leaning Oregon Center for Public Policy has found that Oregon corporations today are paying a smaller portion of the state's income and property taxes than they did 40 years ago.

The evangelist who was a part of the negotiations that ended the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in February returned to Oregon Tuesday. Franklin Graham, the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, spoke to a crowd of thousands at a rally in front of the state capitol.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a federal corruption case involving the former governor of Virginia could have implications in Oregon.

Oregon lawmakers continued to debate the future of the state's Department of Energy on Monday, when a special legislative panel grilled the leader of that agency against the backdrop of a potential criminal investigation.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she won't debate her Republican challenger until September at the earliest. The incumbent Democrat's announcement Wednesday came days after she turned down an appearance at the traditional opening debate of the campaign season.

Oregon schools could soon be required to test for the presence of lead in drinking water, paint and even dirt. That's according to a set of rules proposed Tuesday by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. It adds to a list that already included radon and other chemicals.

The old adage that every vote counts was especially true in Oregon this year. A tie in the Independent Party primary for a suburban Portland seat in the Oregon House was broken Friday with a roll of the dice.

Oregon employers have new guidance from the state on how much to pay their employees when the state's minimum wage goes up next month. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries released rules Wednesday meant to clear up one of the questions surrounding the legislatively-approved minimum wage hike.