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
9:51 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Oregon GMO-Labeling Campaign Submits Signatures

Supporters of an initiative that would require labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients rally in front of the Oregon capitol Wednesday.

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 4:10 pm

Oregon voters may get the chance to require food companies to label products that contain genetically engineered ingredients. Sponsors of an initiative to require that turned in more than 150,000 signatures Wednesday in an effort to make the ballot this November.

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NPR Story
5:07 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Oregon To Investigate Failed Firearm Background Checks

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 5:01 pm

It's a crime for convicted felons or people with certain known mental health problems to attempt to buy a gun. But until recently not much happened in Oregon if someone tried to skirt the law.

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Step Toward Legalization
7:38 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Oregon Marijuana Campaigners Turn In Petitions

Chief petitioner Anthony Johnson prepares boxes of signatures to submit to the Oregon Secretary of State's office in Salem.

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:10 pm

Oregon could soon follow Washington and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana.

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primary voting system
3:24 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Oregon Voters Could Decide On 'Top Two' Primary System

Chief petitioner Jim Kelly turns in six boxes of signatures for the top two primary initiative.

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 3:15 pm

Oregon voters might have the chance to overhaul the state's primary voting system this fall. Sponsors of an initiative to create a "top two" primary turned in six cases of signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State's office Monday.

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Politics & Government
6:49 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Oregon Voters To Consider Equal Rights Amendment

A vintage Equal Rights Amendment pin from the 1970s.

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 4:58 pm

Oregon voters will get to decide whether to grant equal rights to women this fall. If that sounds like a blast from the past, it's because the proposed amendment to the state constitution is nearly identical to the version that failed nationally in the 1970s.

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Drought Impacts Wheat Crop
7:19 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Northwest Wheat Harvest Could Be Down This Summer

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:27 pm

Farmers in Oregon, Idaho and Washington are expected to harvest less wheat this summer. The weather forecast has a lot to do with it.

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Forecast ... Smoke
7:05 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Fire Season Increases Potential For Hazardous Smoke

File photo of a fire in the Douglas Complex in southern Oregon in 2013.

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:49 pm

Hot and dry conditions are expected to create above-normal wildfire conditions in parts of the Northwest this summer. While relatively few people will have to flee the flames, many more will experience a side effect of the fires: thick, acrid smoke.

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Law and Justice
5:49 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Oregon Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence

File photo of the Oregon Supreme Court Building in Salem.

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:24 pm

Oregon's Supreme Court has upheld the conviction and death sentence of Michael Washington. The Gresham, Oregon man is on death row for the 2004 murder of Mohamed Jabbie, an immigrant from Sierra Leone.

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employer-provided sick leave
4:40 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Eugene Could Become Third Northwest City To Require Paid Sick Leave

Eugene, Oregon, could become the third city in the Northwest to require paid sick leave for most workers.

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 3:50 pm

Oregon's second-largest city could be the next place to mandate employer-provided sick leave. The Eugene City Council Wednesday voted to direct city staff to draw up an ordinance that would take effect next year.

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Health
8:55 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Oregon Tries New Health Care Benefits Model For Public Employees

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 4:09 pm

Public workers in Oregon will soon receive health care under a new model that's meant to rein in costs.

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