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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Recall election today
3:19 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Marijuana Dispensary Leads To Small Town Political Showdown

Brie Malarkey owns Breeze Botanicals in Gold Hill, Oregon.

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 3:56 pm

The town of Gold Hill, Oregon is in turmoil. Two-thirds of its City Council is the subject of a recall election on Monday.

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the pros and cons
2:05 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Major Parties Oppose Oregon's Top Two Primary Ballot Measure

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 8:29 am

The Citizens Initiative Review, a group of Oregon voters brought together to consider the pros and cons of a Top Two primary system, have issued their recommendation: They're against it.

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Obama administration is offering very few details
2:05 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Changes On The Way For 'No Fly List'

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 3:56 pm

Changes are coming to the federal government's "No Fly List." But it's not clear yet what those changes will be.

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upcoming ballot measure
3:50 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Oregon's Citizens' Initiative Review Could Expand To Other States

File photo

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 3:37 pm

This week, a group of Oregonians will meet in Salem to figure out where they stand on an upcoming ballot measure. It's called the Citizens' Initiative Review and it's been a part of the Oregon election process since 2010.

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not eligible to win election
2:53 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Oregon Treasurer Can't Seek Re-election

Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 2:39 pm

Oregon's attorney general issued an opinion this week that says Democrat Ted Wheeler is not eligible to win election to a second four-year term.

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released an attack ad Friday
6:01 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Democrat Challenging Walden On Health Care

Democrat Aelea Christofferson is challenging Republican Greg Walden for Oregon’s 2nd Congressional seat.

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 12:49 pm

Aelea Christofferson, the Democrat taking on Greg Walden, Oregon's only Republican member of Congress, released an attack ad Friday blasting Walden's opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

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stretching fire crews to the limit
6:01 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Active Fire Seasons Puts A Strain On Northwest Fire Resources

ODF Klamath Unit personnel prepare to protect the area around the Parker Mountain RAWS station and lookout tower on August 2, 2014.

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 2:58 pm

This summer's active wildfire season is stretching fire crews to the limit. This week, virtually every available wildland firefighter in the Northwest is on the scene of a blaze.

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the life of an animal is on the line
5:17 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Oregon Court Backs Warrantless Rescue Of Sick Horse

This photo of 'Grace' was taken shortly after she was rescued.
Strawberry Mountain Mustangs

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 4:28 pm

An Oregon police officer was justified in seizing someone's horse without getting a warrant first. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Thursday that warrantless searches are allowed when the life of an animal is on the line.

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Supporters say it's a matter of safety
1:42 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Oregon 'Driver Card' Campaign Kicks Off

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 5:51 pm

Oregonians will vote this fall on whether its residents should be able to apply for driver’s licenses regardless of their immigration status. Supporters of the measure kicked off their campaign Monday.

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fair season is underway
3:04 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

State Fair Strategies: What's The Payoff For Lowering Ticket Prices?

File photo of a Ferris Wheel at the 2013 Oregon State Fair.

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 11:01 am

It's August, which means state fair season is underway in the Northwest. From new names to lower ticket prices, fair organizers are trying hard to get people through the gates.

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Summer Heat
4:08 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Hot Weather A Mixed Blessing For Farmers

File photo of workers harvesting watermelons at Bellinger Farms in Hermiston, Oregon.

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 5:24 pm

This summer's hot, dry weather has been a mixed blessing for Northwest farmers.

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Pot Panacea
3:17 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Estimates Differ On How Much Tax Revenue Oregon's Marijuana Initiative Would Raise

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 5:34 pm

Oregon’s legalized marijuana campaign says pot would generate about $39 million in tax revenue in its first year. Legislative revenue experts disagree.

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another round of high temperatures
3:46 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Wildfires Continue To Have Northwest Residents On Edge

An aerial view of the Chiwaukum Fire near Highway 2 northwest of Wenatchee, Washington.

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 3:09 pm

People in many Northwest communities are on edge Tuesday. A series of wildfires that threatened urban areas in recent days is the culprit.

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No Child Left Behind law
10:26 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Northwest States Vary On 'No Child Left Behind' Waivers

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 5:44 pm

Oregon is waiting to hear whether its application for a continued federal waiver from the No Child Left Behind law will be approved.

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ban smoking on all of its beaches
3:45 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Oregon Ponders Smoking Ban At All Beaches

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach viewed from U.S. Highway 101.
Roy W. Lowe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:51 pm

Oregon could become the first West Coast state to ban smoking on all of its beaches. The Oregon State Parks Department is seeking public input on the proposal.

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Wildfires in the Northwest
3:27 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Feds Offer Wildfire Assistance, But So Far No Payments To Homeowners

Firefighters cut a line in the trees in order to contain the Carlton Complex fire.
Inciweb/National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 3:09 pm

Federal funds are being used to help fight the wildfires that have raged across the Northwest this summer. But so far, the Federal Emergency Management Agency isn't handing out money directly to owners of the nearly 200 homes lost in the blazes.

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Health
10:05 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Oregon County Turns Public Health Function Over To State

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 12:11 pm

Counties across the Northwest that are heavily dependent on timber revenue from federal lands have been struggling to provide public health services.

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qualified for the November ballot
4:16 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Oregonians Will Vote On GMO Labeling Initiative

File photo of supporters of a GMO labeling initiative rallying in front of the Oregon capitol earlier this month.

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 4:05 pm

An initiative that will give Oregonians the chance to vote on whether food companies should label products that contain genetically engineered ingredients qualified for the November ballot Wednesday.

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the African-American story
3:17 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Historians Seek To Expand Knowledge Of Oregon's African-American History

Historians say this Corvallis home was once occupied by Hannah and Eliza Gorman, an African-American mother and daughter who came west on the Oregon Trail in 1844.

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 5:45 pm

We all have an image of the Oregon Trail: the covered wagon, mom with her bonnet, and dad handling the mules with a couple of kids riding shotgun. In that image, they’re probably all white.

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Politics & Government
8:54 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Oregonians Will Vote On Marijuana Legalization In November

File photo of chief petitioner Anthony Johnson preparing to turn in signatures for verification in Salem last month.

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:59 pm

An initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon qualified for the November ballot Tuesday.

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