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

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

One of the biggest traffic choke-points in the Northwest is the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver, Washington. Replacing it will be one of the region’s most expensive construction projects in a generation.

Lawmakers in Salem and Olympia are considering funding packages to replace the bridge. A key question is whether enough drivers will pay the tolls planners say are needed to finance the project.

Keith LaFaille / Flickr

SALEM, Ore. – An Oregon lawmaker wants to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines in the wake of Tuesday's shooting at the Clackamas Town Center.

Police say Jacob Tyler Roberts opened fire at the crowded shopping mall, killing two people and seriously wounding another. Then he turned the gun on himself. Investigators say he was using a stolen AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.

Democratic Senator Ginny Burdick says she's circulating a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would ban the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds in Oregon.

PORTLAND – Two people, plus the suspected shooter, are dead after police say a gunman opened fire at a crowded shopping mall in suburban Portland Tuesday.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers will convene in Special Session this Friday. Governor John Kitzhaber announced Monday that the session is urgently needed to facilitate a major expansion of Oregon-based Nike.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Supporters of same-sex marriage in the Northwest are at once celebrating and downplaying the latest news from the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court announced Friday that it would review a ban on same-sex marriage in California, as well as a federal law that prohibits gays and lesbians from receiving federal spousal benefits.

Sasha Buchert with Basic Rights Oregon says it's not clear what a Supreme Court ruling would mean for the ban on same-sex marriage approved by Oregon voters in 2004.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

SALEM, Ore. –The Oregon Lottery spends millions of dollars a year to prevent gambling addiction. But some Oregon lawmakers say that effort has been ineffective. Now, a legislative committee may force the Lottery to hire someone to coordinate its anti-addiction efforts.

Jeff Marotta runs a Portland-based consulting firm that helps lottery agencies nationwide develop anti-addiction programs. He chaired a work group convened by the Lottery that found its anti-addiction efforts lacked focus.

OPB News

SALEM, Ore. – Governor John Kitzhaber says Oregon can save millions of dollars a year by changing the way the state punishes non-violent criminals. The Democrat has included those savings in his next spending plan. But just how the state would save that much money is not yet clear.

When Kitzhaber rolled out his budget proposal at the capitol, he took certain options off the table when it comes to cutting prison costs.

Many same-sex couples in Washington were planning to get married whether or not the state sanctioned their union. That includes Spike Huntington and Nick Chandler-Klein of Seattle, who are planning a wedding next summer. Spike’s mother, Susan Huntington, is planning to make the trip to Seattle from Newport, Oregon for the ceremony.

"I was just thinking about what this passage of the same-sex marriage law in Washington is going to mean to our family event," Susan says. "Do you think it's going to make any difference?"

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

PORTLAND – Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is stepping up the pressure on state lawmakers to make funding a new I-5 bridge over the Columbia River a top priority. The Democrat made his case for a new span between Portland and Vancouver at a gathering of business leaders Monday.

OPB News

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber firmly put the ball in the court of Oregon lawmakers when he released his two-year budget proposal Friday. The spending plan relies on savings gained from potentially controversial changes to the state's pension and public safety systems.

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