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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Wildfires in the Northwest
3:27 pm
Fri July 25, 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

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 11:55 am

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
10:05 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Oregon County Turns Public Health Function Over To State

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 12:11 pm

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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qualified for the November ballot
4:16 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.

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 4:05 pm

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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the African-American story
3:17 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.

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 3:12 pm

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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Politics & Government
8:54 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.

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:59 pm

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

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Oregon firefighters stretched thin
3:38 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Wildfire Season Starts Early And With A Vengeance

Fires have scorched thousands of acres of ranchland in southeast Oregon.

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:26 pm

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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The 91-year-old passed away Sunday evening
2:46 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh Dead At 91

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:00 pm

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh has died. The 91-year-old passed away Sunday evening at Portland's Providence St. Vincent Medical Center of complications from renal failure.

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Friday during the first debate
3:39 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Oregon Gubernatorial Candidates Tangle In First Debate

GOP challenger Dennis Richardson (left) and incumbent Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber debated in Salem Friday.

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 3:37 pm

Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican Dennis Richardson traded barbs Friday during the first debate of the 2014 Oregon governor's race. The 75 minute face-off was held during a meeting of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association in Salem.

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more than a dozen wildfires
5:28 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Northwest Crews Continue To Battle Many Large Fires

A view of the Bridge 99 Complex fire along Green Ridge near the Lookout and east of Camp Sherman and the Metolius River.

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:17 pm

The next few days will be critical for crews battling more than a dozen wildfires in the Northwest. Forecasters have issued a Red Flag Warning for a large swath of eastern Oregon and Washington.

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suspected of setting more than a dozen fires
3:28 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Southern Oregon Town On The Lookout For Serial Arsonist

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 4:03 pm

Police in the southern Oregon city of Medford are on the lookout for a serial arsonist. Officials say someone is suspected of setting more than a dozen fires so far this month, including as many as four in one night.

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