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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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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newly unveiled budget proposal
3:01 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Kitzhaber Boosts Early Learning Programs In Budget Proposal

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber unveiled his 2015-2017 spending plan during a press conference at the state capitol in Salem.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 5:31 pm

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber introduced his two-year spending plan at the state capitol Monday.

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rushed to approve taxes
2:36 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Oregon Cities Seek Clarity On Marijuana Taxes

City leaders in Fairview, Oregon passed a 40 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 11:38 am

Dozens of Oregon cities rushed to approve taxes on recreational marijuana before Oregon voters legalized it this fall. But it's not clear whether those revenues will ever materialize since Measure 91 seemingly rules out local taxes on pot.

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Politics & Government
9:25 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Kitzhaber To Unveil New Spending Plan

Chris Phan Flickr

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 3:32 pm

Fresh off a successful re-election campaign, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber plans to unveil a two-year spending plan Monday.

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most expensive initiative in Oregon history
1:56 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Oregon Food Labeling Measure Headed For Likely Recount

Oregon's Measure 92 appears headed for a recount.
Lindsay Eyink

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 5:49 pm

The most expensive initiative in Oregon history appears headed for a recount.

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Health
7:47 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Oregon, Oracle Tangle In Federal Court

Oracle was the chief technology firm on the failed Cover Oregon website.
Cover Oregon

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 4:36 pm

A federal court judge in Portland said Friday that for now, Oracle can’t have its way and keep its suit against the state of Oregon in federal court.

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Politics & Government
5:59 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Oregon's Food Labeling Measure Appears Headed For Recount

A ballot measure in Oregon that would require labels on genetically engineered foods could be heading for a recount.
Lindsay Eyink

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 7:09 pm

It appears Oregon is headed for its first statewide ballot measure recount in more than six years.

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recreational marijuana in Oregon
2:53 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Oregon Lawmakers Could Make Changes To Pot Measure

A new law to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon takes effect next year.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 4:59 pm

A new law to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon doesn't begin to take effect until next year. That means state lawmakers have the chance to tweak the measure before it kicks in.

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Keystone XL oil pipeline
1:53 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Keystone XL Pipeline: Northwest Senators Vote Along Party Lines

File photo from 2009 of a 30-inch pipe for the Keystone Pipeline near Swanton, Nebraska.

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 5:35 pm

Northwest lawmakers voted along party lines as the U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to reject a plan to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

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