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.

Militants in eastern Oregon are getting little sympathy from Oregon lawmakers.

Starting Monday, shoppers in Oregon will find themselves in the unusual position of paying sales tax. But only if they're buying recreational marijuana.

A quirky fact about Oregon is that it's one of only two states in the nation that don't allow most drivers to pump their own fuel. But that's going to change in 2016 -- in a limited way.

Oregon cities and counties have until December 27 to act if they want to ban retail marijuana sales. More than 70 communities have already put their names on that list.

When 2015 dawned, it was illegal to grow, smoke or buy marijuana in Oregon unless you held a medical marijuana card. Now, all of those things are legal for adults.

Oregon will soon check whether lottery winners owe money to the state because they received too much public assistance. It's a new law that takes effect in January.

Oregon elections officials expect to add tens of thousands of new voters to the rolls starting in January. That's when the state's new automatic voter registration law takes effect.

The effort to raise Oregon's minimum wage is getting a financial boost from the largest state workers union. SEIU local 503 has formed a political action committee to push for a hike in the state's base pay.

Oregon lawmakers spent the day Thursday looking at ways to prevent and respond to active shooter attacks. It comes two-and-a-half months after a gunman killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg.

2015 was an unusual year in Oregon politics, to say the least. For the first time in the state's 156 year history, a governor -- John Kitzhaber -- stepped down under pressure. Oregon's new governor -- Kate Brown -- spent much of the year trying to distance herself from her predecessor.

People who use electronic cigarettes in Oregon will have fewer places to light up starting in January. That's because of a new law that takes effect with the start of the year.

More Oregon employees will be able to take sick leave in the coming year. It's because of a new law taking effect in January.

Oregon's political and business leaders agree on the need to pass a state-funded transportation spending package. But they don't agree on how soon it should be approved.

Business executives and lawmakers in Oregon are gathering Monday in Portland for an annual summit. One item on the agenda is how to move ahead with a transportation funding package.

Opponents of a liquefied natural gas pipeline on the Oregon coast are enlisting oyster farmers in an attempt to block the project. A group of activists gathered Tuesday before a meeting of the State Land Board in Salem.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has appointed Lynn Nakamoto to serve on Oregon's highest court.

Oregon's economy is still going "full throttle." That was the word Wednesday from state economists as they unveiled the latest forecast of state revenues.

A cable television host is in hot water with the state of Oregon. Pete Nelson of the Animal Planet show "Treehouse Masters" has been fined for operating without a contractor's license.

The end of the year is a time that many charities look to donors for year-end giving. It’s also when the Oregon Department of Justice wants to hike an annual fee that nonprofits pay to the agency.

Three Northwesterners were among those honored at the White House Tuesday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

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