Chris Lehman

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.

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.

In addition to working full time in public radio for the past decade, Chris has also reported from overseas on a free–lance basis. He's filed stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda. He lives in Salem with his wife and child.

Read Chris's blog, "Capitol Currents: Dispatches From Salem."


7:12 am
Tue July 29, 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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7:40 am
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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7:27 am
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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NPR Story
9:11 am
Thu July 24, 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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8:50 am
Thu July 24, 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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8:50 am
Thu July 24, 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 Wed July 23, 2014 3:12 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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8:44 am
Wed July 23, 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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Carlton Complex Fire
7:45 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Wildfire Season Starts Early And With A Vengeance

Fires have scorched thousands of acres of ranchland in southeast Oregon.

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:26 pm

So far, more than 150 homes in Washington state have been destroyed in what veteran firefighters are calling the worst fire season in decades. 

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NPR Story
7:44 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh Dead At 91

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:00 pm

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh has died. The 91-year-old passed away Sunday evening at Portland's Providence St. Vincent Medical Center of complications from renal failure.

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7:41 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Northwest Crews Continue To Battle Many Large Fires

A view of the Bridge 99 Complex fire along Green Ridge near the Lookout and east of Camp Sherman and the Metolius River.

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:17 pm

The next few days will be critical for crews battling more than a dozen wildfires in the Northwest. Forecasters have issued a Red Flag Warning for a large swath of eastern Oregon and Washington.

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NPR Story
8:48 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Southern Oregon Town On The Lookout For Serial Arsonist

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 4:03 pm

Police in the southern Oregon city of Medford are on the lookout for a serial arsonist. Officials say someone is suspected of setting more than a dozen fires so far this month, including as many as four in one night.

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Emergency Declarations
8:00 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Wildfires Blaze Their Way Across The Northwest

US Highway 26 near Mitchell, Oregon has been closed much of this week due to a wildfire.

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:53 am

As wildfires continue to blaze around the Northwest, both Oregon and Washington have issued emergency declarations for fire-ravaged portions of their state. Affected are 20 of Washington's eastern counties and central Oregon, where most of the state's 13 active fires are burning.

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7:46 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Hot Weather Complicates Fire Fighting Efforts

A view of the Mills Canyon fire, north of Wenatchee, Washington.

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 2:56 pm

Triple-digit temperatures are expected to complicate the effort to battle The Mills Canyon fire in central Washington.  

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Northwest Heat Wave
7:23 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Northwest Wildfire Season Heats Up

The Mills Canyon fire started near Entiat, Washington, north of Wenatchee.

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 4:53 pm

The Northwest is gearing up for a heat wave starting this weekend that could push temperatures into the triple digits in parts of the region. That could make things difficult for firefighters battling flames on the front lines.

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7:55 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Start A Wildfire? Expect A Bill

File photo of 2013's Little Queens Fire near the town of Atlanta, Idaho.

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 4:54 pm

Whether it’s due to negligence or arson, thousands of wildfires each year are caused by humans. And the person or business who starts a fire can expect a bill.

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