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.

The campaign season is officially underway in Oregon. Thursday was the first day that candidates could file to run in next May's primary.

Another round of warm weather this week is prompting Northwest fire managers to warn that this summer's challenging fire season isn't over yet.

The Oregon Governor's office has released the first 5,000 of more than 12,000 emails archived from the private account of the state's disgraced former governor.

The final two undecided Northwest Democratic Senators, Oregon's Ron Wyden and Washington's Maria Cantwell, came out Tuesday in favor of the Iran nuclear deal.

A lot of people want to review marijuana for Oregon's largest newspaper. The Oregonian is looking for a freelance pot critic as recreational marijuana sales are set to begin next month.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown is calling for a top-to-bottom review of a long-troubled tax incentive. The Business Energy Tax Credit was supposed to give companies an incentive to invest in clean energy.

Fire managers in the Northwest say the recent rain doesn't mean the wildfire danger is over. Some parts of the Northwest got more than an inch of rain in the last week of August.

North America's highest mountain has a new name. Or rather, an old one. President Obama has announced that Alaska's Mount McKinley will now be called Denali, which is what natives call the peak.

A new report Thursday from the Oregon Secretary of State says lax enforcement has allowed hundreds of de facto casinos across the state. Non-tribal casinos are banned by the state constitution.

The state of Oregon is getting ready to send $402 million back to taxpayers. State economists Wednesday announced the first so-called kicker rebate since 2007.

The state of Oregon has stopped taking applications for permits to grow industrial hemp. The Oregon Department of Agriculture said the suspension will last until at least next spring.

Oregonians could buy recreational marijuana from stores starting in October under a measure approved Thursday by the Oregon House.

Oregon's legislative session opened in January with words of hope and optimism from Governor John Kitzhaber. But when the final gavel falls, Kitzhaber won't be among those celebrating at the capitol.

Recreational marijuana will be legal in Oregon starting July 1. And with it comes a host of new business opportunities.

July 1 will be a big day in Oregon for adults who like to use marijuana. That's when the state's voter-approved legalization of recreational pot takes effect.

Oregon lawmakers are moving ahead with a plan that would change the way recreational marijuana is taxed.

Efforts to raise Oregon’s gas tax this year appear to have fizzled out in the legislature.

Oregon drivers could pay an additional four cents per gallon in state taxes. That's part of a massive transportation package unveiled Wednesday by Oregon lawmakers.

An Oregon legislative panel has signed off on a plan that would ensure the state's passenger rail service will run at least two more years along the I-5 corridor.

Cigar smokers in Oregon could soon have to pay more in taxes.