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

This summer’s total solar eclipse in Oregon came with a price tag. The Oregon Military Department is requesting an extra $260,000 to pay for the costs of managing crowds during the August 21 event.

The wildfires are largely out in places like the Columbia River Gorge and the south Oregon coast, but the economic fallout continues in many nearby Oregon communities. That was the message Tuesday during a meeting of the Oregon House Committee on Economic Development.

A task force appointed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has released a series of possible options for shrinking the state’s public pension deficit. The options include a lengthy list of ways to generate cash through a combination of one-time and ongoing changes.

The list includes some eye-catching proposals such as privatizing the state’s public universities that are unlikely to gain much traction politically.

Voters in one of Oregon’s largest counties will have the chance this November to dramatically reshape their county government. The question before Douglas County residents is whether or not to approve a home rule charter.

A potential Republican candidate for Oregon governor said Tuesday she won’t seek the state’s top office after all. Lori Chavez-DeRemer is the long-time mayor of Happy Valley, a Portland suburb.

A new law in Oregon allows municipalities to use their red-light cameras to ticket speeders, too.

Drivers won’t be fined unless they’re going at least 11 miles per hour over the speed limit. But the speeding tickets can be issued regardless of whether the light was red, yellow, or green at the time.

The projected incarceration rate of Oregonians is expected to fall by 11 percent over the next decade. That’s according to the semi-annual prison population forecast issued by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.

The Oregon Department of Revenue is getting ready to distribute $85 million in cannabis tax revenue to cities, counties and several state agencies. It’s the first distribution since a tax on recreational cannabis kicked in last year.

An Oregon task force is recommending that future redistricting be done by an independent commission. The task force was created by Republican Secretary of State Dennis Richardson.

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.

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