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 child.

Read Chris's blog, "Capitol Currents: Dispatches From Salem."

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Government and Politics
5:34 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Estimates Differ On How Much Tax Revenue Oregon's Marijuana Initiative Would Raise

Credit Wikimedia

Oregon’s legalized marijuana campaign says pot would generate about $39 million in tax revenue in its first year. Legislative revenue experts disagree.

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Disasters and Accidents
3:09 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Wildfires Continue To Have Northwest Residents On Edge

An aerial view of the Chiwaukum Fire near Highway 2 northwest of Wenatchee, Washington.
Credit Daniel O'Connor / InciWeb

People in many Northwest communities are on edge Tuesday. A series of wildfires that threatened urban areas in recent days is the culprit.

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Education and Training
5:44 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Northwest States Vary On 'No Child Left Behind' Waivers

Oregon is waiting to hear whether its application for a continued federal waiver from the No Child Left Behind law will be approved.

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Government and Politics
5:51 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Oregon Ponders Smoking Ban At All Beaches

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach viewed from U.S. Highway 101.
Roy W. Lowe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Oregon could become the first West Coast state to ban smoking on all of its beaches. The Oregon State Parks Department is seeking public input on the proposal.

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Disasters and Accidents
4:24 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Feds Offer Wildfire Assistance, But So Far No Payments To Homeowners

Firefighters cut a line in the trees in order to contain the Carlton Complex fire.
Inciweb/National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Federal funds are being used to help fight the wildfires that have raged across the Northwest this summer. But so far, the Federal Emergency Management Agency isn't handing out money directly to owners of the nearly 200 homes lost in the blazes.

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Health and Medicine
5:34 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Oregon County Turns Public Health Function Over To State

This audio is pending

Counties across the Northwest that are heavily dependent on timber revenue from federal lands have been struggling to provide public health services.

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Food, Agriculture, and Animals
4:05 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Oregonians Will Vote On GMO Labeling Initiative

File photo of supporters of a GMO labeling initiative rallying in front of the Oregon capitol earlier this month.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

An initiative that will give Oregonians the chance to vote on whether food companies should label products that contain genetically engineered ingredients qualified for the November ballot Wednesday.

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History and Culture
3:06 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Historians Seek To Expand Knowledge Of Oregon's African-American History

Historians say this Corvallis home was once occupied by Hannah and Eliza Gorman, an African-American mother and daughter who came west on the Oregon Trail in 1844.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

We all have an image of the Oregon Trail: the covered wagon, mom with her bonnet, and dad handling the mules with a couple of kids riding shotgun. In that image, they’re probably all white.

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Government and Politics
4:59 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Oregonians Will Vote On Marijuana Legalization In November

File photo of chief petitioner Anthony Johnson preparing to turn in signatures for verification in Salem last month.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

An initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon qualified for the November ballot Tuesday.

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Disasters and Accidents
4:26 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Wildfire Season Starts Early And With A Vengeance

Fires have scorched thousands of acres of ranchland in southeast Oregon.
Credit Brooke Nyman / Oregon Cattleman's Association

So far, more than 150 homes in Washington state have been destroyed in what veteran firefighters are calling the worst fire season in decades. 

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