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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Politics & Government
7:06 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Three Oregon Lawmakers File Initiative To Make English Official State Language

M.O. Stevens Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 3:04 pm

Three Republican state lawmakers filed an initiative petition this week to make English the official language of the state of Oregon.

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Politics & Government
9:04 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Firearm Background Check Bill Surfaces In Salem

A bill in the Oregon legislature would require criminal background checks for most private gun sales.
Augustas Didzgalvis Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:18 pm

Oregon lawmakers are gearing up for another round of debate over firearm regulations.

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Politics & Government
5:09 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers Consider Stronger Confidentiality Laws For Rape Victims

Sexual assault survivor Brenda Tracy speaks with reporters following a rally at the Oregon state capitol in Salem.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 4:07 pm

Oregon lawmakers want to make it easier for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses to get the support they need.

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Politics & Government
5:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Transportation Package Stalls In Oregon Legislature

Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle inspects the underside of a bridge over Fanno Creek.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 3:04 pm

Oregon lawmakers came into the session revved up about the need for new revenue to pay for improvements to roads and bridges.

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Health
8:42 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Oregon Blood Drives Could Soon Require More Medical Oversight

A bill in the Oregon House would require that a doctor or nurse to be on hand for all blood donations.
illinois-state-homecoming Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 4:47 pm

The Oregon House is set to vote Monday on a measure that would require a doctor or nurse to be on hand when you donate a pint of blood.

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Health
7:25 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers To Schools: Let Kids Use Sunscreen

Some Oregon school districts currently don't allow kids to use sunscreen because it's considered an over-the-counter drug.
Joe Shlabotnik Flickr

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 4:54 pm

Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes more opportunities to be outside. Oregon lawmakers want children to slather on the sunscreen when they hit the playground.

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Politics & Government
7:51 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Oregon Bill Would Ban Ivory Sales

A bill in the Oregon legislature would ban the sale of ivory in the state.
Paul Mannix Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 8:55 am

Federal law generally prohibits the import of ivory, but it's legal to sell domestically if the ivory was harvested before 1976.

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Politics & Government
7:45 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Oregon House Approves Ban On 'Conversion Therapy' For Youth

M.O. Stevens Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 4:20 pm

Oregon lawmakers gave initial approval Tuesday to a bill that would ban so-called "conversion therapy" on youth.

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NPR Story
4:28 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Greyhound Racing Ban Falters In Oregon Legislature

Multnomah Greyhound Park, a former dog track in Wood Village, Oregon, closed in 2004.
A. F. Litt Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 9:18 am

You might think that a bill that would outlaw something that doesn't even take place in Oregon might sail through the legislature.

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Environment
11:46 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Governor Brown Signs Clean Fuels Bill Into Law

File photo. Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a clean fuels bill into law Thursday.
Office of the Governor

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 3:45 pm

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has made what is perhaps her boldest political statement since she took office in February.

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Politics & Government
4:40 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

New Oregon Secretary Of State Takes Oath Of Office

Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins addresses supporters after taking the oath of office at the Oregon capitol Wednesday.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 4:05 pm

Oregon’s new secretary of state, Democrat Jeanne Atkins, took the oath of office at the state capitol Wednesday.

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David B. Frohnmayer (1940-2015)
9:48 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers Remember Frohnmayer

Former Oregon Attorney General and University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer died Monday night.
University of Oregon

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 3:39 pm

Former Oregon Attorney General and University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer died Monday night.

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Health
10:05 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Northwest Lawmakers Debate Vaccine Exemptions

CDC

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 5:22 pm

Northwest lawmakers are considering whether to make it harder for parents to opt out of immunizing their children.

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Politics & Government
10:04 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Proposed Oregon Law Would Make Headlights Mandatory When Wipers Are On

Oregon law requires headlights in times of limited visibility.
Oregon Department of Transportation

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 3:10 pm

Oregon drivers could soon be ticketed if they don't use their headlights when their windshield wipers are on.

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Politics & Government
9:30 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Oregon Democrats Move Quickly On Top Priorities

This photo was taken by Senator Sara Gelser in the moments after the final passage of HB 2177.

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 5:09 pm

Legislative Democrats in Oregon are keeping their promise to quickly use their larger majorities to their advantage.

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Politics & Government
4:38 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Jeanne Atkins Named Oregon's Next Secretary Of State

Oregon's next Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins is scheduled to take the oath of office March 11, 2015.
Office of the Governor

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 2:48 pm

Oregon's new Secretary of State will be Jeanne Atkins, a long-time political staffer who's never held elected office. Governor Kate Brown made the announcement Friday

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Politics & Government
7:28 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

In Oregon, Getting A Drivers License Could Soon Mean You're Registered To Vote

Neighborhood Centers Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:00 pm

The number of registered voters in Oregon could soon increase dramatically.

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Politics & Government
8:21 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Northwest Lawmakers Mull Higher Speed Limits

File photo. Drivers can legally top out at 80 mph on some sections of interstate highway in Idaho.
Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 5:10 pm

Some Northwest lawmakers want you to be able to drive faster. Bills in both Oregon and Washington would increase the speed limit on some sections of highway.

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Politics & Government
5:33 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Oregon House Approves Ban On Selling E-Cigarettes To Kids

Oregon lawmakers voted to ban the sales of e-cigarettes to kids.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 4:24 pm

Oregon is one of a handful of states that doesn't restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. The Oregon House voted Monday to change that.

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Health
10:47 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers Vote To Dissolve Health Insurance Exchange

Cover Oregon, the state's health exchange, could seen be dismantled.
Cover Oregon

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 10:40 pm

Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange is one step closer to being dismantled.

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