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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NPR Story
5:15 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Parties Jockey To Win Control Of Oregon Legislature

Sara Gelser (center) is surrounded by campaign workers and volunteers at her Corvallis field office.

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 10:04 am

You need 16 votes to pass a bill in the Oregon Senate. Democrats control the Oregon Senate, 16-14, but one of their members often votes with Republicans on social and environmental issues.

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sell marijuana under state regulation
4:11 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Oregon Voters To Consider Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

File photo. Measure 91 chief petitioner Anthony Johnson prepares to drop off initiative signatures at the state capitol in June.

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 4:35 pm

Oregonians will decide this fall whether to legalize recreational marijuana. Measure 91 would allow adults in Oregon to grow, possess, and sell marijuana under state regulation.

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Politics & Government
6:11 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

John McCain Stumps For Oregon Senate Candidate Monica Wehby

Arizona Senator John McCain campaigned in Salem for Oregon GOP Senate hopeful Monica Wehby.

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 5:23 pm

Arizona Senator John McCain came to Oregon Thursday to stump for Republican Senate hopeful Monica Wehby.

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Daimler Trucks North America
3:41 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Oregon To Investigate Complaints Of Racial Discrimination At Daimler Trucks

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 4:51 pm

The state of Oregon is investigating complaints of racial discrimination at Daimler Trucks North America.

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second debate Friday in Sunriver
3:25 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Hot Button Issues Divide Oregon Governor Candidates At Debate

Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson held their second debate Friday in Sunriver.

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 3:23 pm

Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson faced-off in the resort town of Sunriver.

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Ballots go out
3:19 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Money Flowing In To Oregon Political Campaigns

File photo of the Oregon Capitol Building in Salem

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 4:50 pm

Ballots go out in the mail to Oregon voters in less than three weeks. And that means right now is prime fundraising season for candidates and ballot measure campaigns.

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race for Oregon governor is a battle
3:08 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Two Political Veterans Headline Oregon Governor's Race

Incumbent John Kitzhaber, left, is seeking re-election against challenger Dennis Richardson.

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 8:38 am

The race for Oregon governor is a battle between two political veterans. Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber is seeking an unprecedented fourth term. Republican Dennis Richardson is hoping for a promotion from his long-held seat in the Oregon House.

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Ad Rollout In Progress
5:41 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Oregon Gubernatorial Candidates Hit The Airwaves

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:27 pm

Both of Oregon's major-party candidates for governor plan to blanket the airwaves this fall.

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NPR Story
5:27 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Oregon Fire Season 'Continues To Push And Challenge'

A view of the 36 Pit Fire From Highway 224 near Estacada, Oregon.

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:17 pm

A wildfire near Estacada, Oregon, southeast of Portland, has grown to more than 3,500 acres and threatens more than 160 homes.

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Politics & Government
7:43 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Oregon Could Implement Retirement Plan For Private-Sector Workers

Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 4:53 pm

Oregonians could have another option when it comes to saving for the future.

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hearings at the capitol on Monday and Tuesday
3:11 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Cover Oregon Officials Set To Face State Lawmakers

State lawmakers are set to grill the leaders of Cover Oregon on Monday and Tuesday.

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 2:52 pm

The leaders of Oregon's struggling health insurance exchange will be grilled by state lawmakers in a series of hearings at the capitol on Monday and Tuesday.

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create a nonpartisan primary
3:10 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Measure 90 Would Bring Top Two Primaries To Oregon

File photo of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 9:29 am

This fall, Oregon voters will choose between five candidates for U.S. senator and six candidates for governor. It could be the last time the general election ballot is this crowded in Oregon.

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The potential fine is up to $500 a day
2:59 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Oregon Warns Unlicensed Medical Marijuana Dispensaries To Close

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 5:11 pm

Oregon is warning some unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries to close their doors. This summer, the state has sent letters to nine storefront pot dealers ordering them to shut down.

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according to AAA
4:15 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Northwest Gas Prices Among Nation's Highest

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:15 pm

Northwest drivers plan to hit the roads this holiday weekend despite paying some of the highest gas prices in the nation according to AAA.

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remembered at the Oregon state Capitol
4:15 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh To Be Remembered At Capitol

File photo of former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:30 pm

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh will be remembered at the Oregon state Capitol on September 3.

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Politics & Government
6:37 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Oregon Revenue Forecast Steady, But Kicker A Possibility

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 4:05 pm

Oregon's economy is humming along at a good clip, according to the latest outlook released Wednesday by state economists.

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Politics & Government
6:37 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Court Turns Down Latest Attempt To Intervene In Oregon Gay Marriage Case

File photo of the James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals Building in San Francisco.

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 5:43 pm

A federal judge in Oregon this spring cleared the way for same-sex marriages to begin when state officials refused to defend the voter-approved ban in court. Now, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has turned down an attempt by the National Organization For Marriage to step in.

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settle this statue squabble once and for all
2:36 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Kitzhaber Creates Commission To Study Capitol Statue Squabble

A statue of early pioneer missionary Jason Lee stands in the U.S. Capitol Building ... for now.

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 5:47 pm

Each state is represented by two statues in the United States Capitol Building. Some Oregon lawmakers have tried repeatedly to replace one of their state's specimens.

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Politics & Government
4:09 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Gold Hill Councilors Survive Recall Attempt

Breeze Botanicals owner Brie Malarkey stands in front of the medical marijuana dispensary at the heart of a recall election in Gold Hill, Oregon
Credit Chris Lehman/Northwest News Network

An attempt to remove most of the city council in the southern Oregon city of Gold Hill has fallen short. 

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earthquake preparedness tool
3:20 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Comic Book Aims To Boost Earthquake Preparedness

Dark Horse Comics produced a 12-page booklet to educate the public about earthquake preparedness.

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 3:35 pm

Emergency managers in Oregon have a new tool to educate the public about earthquake preparedness. It's a comic book. And it's co-produced by one of the nation's top comic book publishers.

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