Chris Lehman

Salem Correspondent

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage.  Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.

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.

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advancing technology surrounding driverless cars
5:43 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Oregon Lawmaker To Bring Back Driverless Car Bill

File photo of a Google driverless car operating on a testing path.
Steve Jurvetson Flickr

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 5:06 pm

One of the big draws at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is the rapidly advancing technology surrounding driverless cars.

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those left behind in the state's economic recovery
5:43 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Oregon Governor Urges Business Leaders To Remember Those Left Behind

Gov. John Kitzhaber
Office of the Governor

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 4:04 pm

At a business summit in Portland Tuesday, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber urged business executives not to forget about those left behind in the state's economic recovery.

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Politics & Government
7:38 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Kitzhaber Prepares His Fourth Inauguration Speech

File photo. John Kitzhaber delivers his third inaugural address on January 10, 2011 at the state capitol in Salem.
Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 5:50 pm

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has until January 12 to put the finishing touches on his inaugural address. But writing the speech should be old hat to the governor.

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alcohol-related medical emergencies
4:32 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

New Oregon Law Aims To Prevent Underage Alcohol Poisoning

Andreas Solberg - andreassolberg Flickr

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 3:06 pm

People under age of 21 in Oregon will have legal immunity if they report alcohol-related medical emergencies. It's one of several new laws taking effect with the New Year.

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Labor/Employment
10:00 am
Sun December 28, 2014

Oregon, Washington Minimum Wage Set For Increase

The minimum wage is going up by 15 cents an hourin both Washington and Oregon to $9.47 in Washington and $9.25 in Oregon.

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 3:20 pm

The new year will mean higher pay for low-wage workers in Oregon and Washington. The minimum wage in both states is set for an increase.

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Environment
9:59 am
Sun December 28, 2014

Oregon Agency Wants To Use Drones To Count Fish And Birds

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife believes aerial surveys performed by drones could be cheaper and safer than surveys gathered by airplane or helicopter.
Dkroetsch Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 2:33 pm

Wildlife biologists in Oregon could soon have a new tool to count hard-to-reach salmon and coastal birds after the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the purchase of two drones to conduct aerial surveys.

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stores are warning of higher egg prices
3:12 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Egg Prices Rise As New California Regulations Kick In

Some grocery stores, including this one in Salem, are warning customers of higher egg prices.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:38 pm

Get ready to shell out more money for eggs. Some Northwest stores are warning of higher egg prices as new regulations on hen houses take effect in California next month.

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metal studs cause millions of dollars in damage
2:49 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

ODOT Says Use Of Studded Tires Has Dropped Dramatically

The Oregon Department of Transportation says tires with metal studs cause millions of dollars in damage to highways each year.

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:46 pm

A perennial bill in the Oregon legislature is banning studded tires. Or taxing them because they chew up the roads.

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Northwest farmers and orchardists
3:25 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Northwest Exporters Eye New Opportunities In Cuba

File photo of The Cuban Capitol in Havana.
Nigel Pacquette Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 10:21 am

Northwest farmers and orchardists are among the potential beneficiaries if the U.S. and Cuba normalize their relationship and the trade embargo ends.

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Law and Justice
10:00 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Federal Court Turns Down Oregon's Attempt To Sue For-Profit College

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the State of Oregon in a lawsuit against the company that operates the University of Phoenix.

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:14 pm

Oregon has failed in its attempt to recover millions from a bad investment in a for-profit university.

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Politics & Government
6:42 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Oregon Hires Top Marijuana Regulator

Katherine Hitt Flickr

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:01 am

Oregon is gearing up for a year-long process of crafting regulations for recreational marijuana.

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Politics & Government
5:18 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

Oregon Could Soon Have Third Major Political Party

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 5:11 pm

The Independent Party is on the cusp of becoming Oregon’s third major political party.

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Politics & Government
2:57 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Supporters Of Oregon Food Labeling Measure Concede Defeat

File photo of Elections workers in Salem hand-counting Marion County ballots.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:38 am

Supporters of a food labeling measure in Oregon have conceded defeat, more than one month after the election.

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Law and Justice
6:36 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Amid State Capitol Holiday Festivities, Demonstrators Protest Police Shootings

Amy Wojcicki, a spokeswoman for Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, reads a statement from the governor.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:46 pm

Political protest mixed with holiday festivities in Salem Wednesday.

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might end up in new hands
5:06 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Oregon Land Board Ponders Future Of Elliott Forest

The Elliott State Forest is in southwest Oregon.
Francis Eatherington Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 4:35 pm

A large state-owned forest in Oregon might end up in new hands.

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NPR Story
6:30 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Amid Recount, Measure 92 Supporters File Suit To Halt Certification Of Vote

Yes on 92 campaign manager Paige Richardson speaks at a Portland press conference announcing the lawsuit.
KATU screengrab

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:06 pm

Supporters of a food labeling measure in Oregon are seeking a court order to block the certification of the election results.

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NPR Story
6:29 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Oregon Capitol Renovation Would Include Seismic Upgrades

File photo of the Oregon State Capitol building in Salem
M.O. Stevens Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 7:35 am

Oregon's state capitol building could soon undergo a massive renovation. It's a project so big, lawmakers would have to use a temporary capitol for more than three years.

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legalization of recreational marijuana
3:56 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Oregon Marijuana Regulators Request Funding To Develop Rules

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 3:38 pm

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission could get a more than $500,000 injection of emergency funds to help oversee the legalization of recreational marijuana.

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Business
10:04 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Oregon Rule Change Would Allow Small Businesses To Use Crowdfunding

M.O. Stevens Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 5:22 pm

Businesses in Oregon could soon take advantage of the crowdfunding phenomenon.

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Statewide recount is underway
3:56 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Recount Of Oregon Food Labeling Measure Underway

Elections workers in Salem hand-count Marion County ballots.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 3:36 pm

The first statewide recount in more than six years is underway in Oregon. Elections workers Tuesday started hand-counting the more than 1.5 million votes cast for and against Measure 92.

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