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.


Attention Oregon cellphone users
3:34 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Oregon To Start Taxing Prepaid Cellphones

Prepaid cellphones will now be charged a 75 cent tax to fund 911 services.
Jeramey Jannene Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 5:13 pm

Oregon cellphone users who don't have a monthly contract will soon pay a new tax when they refill their minutes. A law that takes effect this month levies a 75 cent transaction tax on prepaid minutes. The money will fund 911 services.

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3:56 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Northwest Diesel Ownership Among Tops Nationally, Still Lags Europe

File photo. The vast majority of diesel vehicles in the Northwest are pickups.

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:38 pm

A new report by a diesel industry group shows Oregon and Idaho are in the top 10 when it comes to highest rates of diesel vehicle ownership in the nation. 

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Crime and Punishment
10:00 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Oregon Has Highest Rate Of Prisoners With Post-Prison Supervision

File photo of Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, Oregon.

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 5:15 pm

Fewer prisoners serve their entire prison sentence behind bars in Oregon than in any other state according to a study released Wednesday from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

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same-sex marriages in Oregon
3:45 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Won't Block Oregon Same-Sex Marriage

File photo of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, DC.

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 3:42 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court won't block same-sex marriages in Oregon. The high court Wednesday turned down a request to halt gay marriages in the state.

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Oregon National Guard
3:26 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Oregon National Guard Troops Set To Deploy For Afghanistan

Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry rehearse urban tactics at the Orchard Combat Training Center near Boise, Idaho, May 27, in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan.

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 5:18 pm

Oregon National Guard members could be some of the last members of the U.S. armed forces to serve in Afghanistan. Three battalions are set to deploy later this summer to help wrap up the American mission in that country.

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June 6 is the 70th anniversary
3:15 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

'They Deserve The Honor:' Oregon's World War II Memorial Set To Open

World War II veteran Art Sorenson holds the helmet he wore in battle.

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:35 pm

June 6 is the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Western Europe. And this year’s D-Day will be especially meaningful for World War II veterans in Oregon as the state's long-awaited World War II Memorial will open on that day.

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may not be settled after all
4:19 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Could Examine Oregon Gay Marriage Case

File photo of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 4:17 pm

The issue of whether gay marriage is legal in Oregon may not be settled after all.

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balance between personal privacy and public safety
3:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Oregon Lawmakers Debate Balance Between Privacy And Public Safety

File photo of the Oregon Capitol Building in Salem.

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:16 pm

Oregon lawmakers are wading into the debate on the balance between personal privacy and public safety. A slate of potential bills would limit the way law enforcement can access digital data such as that found on a cell phone or computer.

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Oregon's economy still hasn't recovered
3:23 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Oregon Revenue Forecast Up As Job Growth Continues

File photo of the Oregon State Capitol

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 2:49 pm

Oregon's economy still hasn't recovered to pre-recession levels, but state economists told lawmakers Wednesday that job growth is driving an expected increase in tax revenue for the state.

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NPR Story
5:30 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

With Primary Over, Oregon Gubernatorial Candidates Look To November

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (left) will face off against state Rep. Dennis Richardson in November.

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 4:04 pm

This week's primary was mostly a formality for the two major party candidates for Oregon governor. Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson both had little more than token opposition.

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