Chris Lehman | KUOW News and Information

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."

The Columbia River lazily passes under Interstate 5 between Portland and Vancouver, Wash. You wouldn't really call the water troubled. The bridges over it, however, are. 

Oregon lawmakers say they want more answers before they'll agree to proceed with a plan to build a new I-5 bridge across the Columbia River.

Oregon lawmakers are gearing up for another fight over background checks for gun purchases.

Oregon's state treasurer says he won't approve bonds for a new I-5 bridge across the Columbia River without a guarantee: that Oregon can collect tolls from Washington drivers.

Call it the year of the "T." Some of the new laws set to take effect in Oregon when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve involve taxes, texting, tethering and teen tanning.

The week between Christmas and New Year's is one of the best times of the year to watch grey whales migrating along the Oregon coast.

The makers of the new action flick 47 Ronin didn't want to film their movie in Oregon. But that doesn't mean the state won't have a starring role.

About 45,000 people in the Northwest will face the new year without the unemployment benefits they've come to rely on.

Oregon voters could have the chance to follow Washington's lead next year when it comes to liquor sales.

The holiday season will mean an end to unemployment checks for about 1.3 million Americans, including about 45,000 jobless in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. 

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is setting his sights on a major overhaul of the state's tax system.

The improving employment picture in the Northwest isn't good news if you teach at a community college.

As the Christmas shopping season gets into full-swing, Black Friday was a day of protest for some in the Northwest.

One out of every five cranberries grown in the U.S. is eaten Thanksgiving week, according to industry giant Ocean Spray.

There are some towns in the Northwest that are so small, nearly everybody is a politician.

Public health officials say recent measles cases in the Northwest highlight the need to be vaccinated against the infection.

Washington voters decide Tuesday whether food containing genetically modified organisms should be labeled. Activists in Oregon are planning their own initiative.

An Oregon license plate meant to raise money for child abuse prevention programs could soon be canceled due to lack of interest.

Drug cartels are doing big business up and down the West Coast. When you go by freeway, you’re driving a Silk Road of sorts for heroin, meth and cocaine.

This export industry is evolving. Drug experts say heroin is back on the rise, fueled in part by prescription drug abuse. And while the supply side of the business may change, the demand remains strong.

"I was in love with it from the very beginning"

County officials who issue marriage licenses in Washington are gearing up for a possible influx of new applicants.

  Oregon parents could soon find it harder to skip having their children immunized.

The Oregon House Wednesday sent a measure to the governor that would add steps to the way parents can opt out of the requirement. A similar law went into effect in Washington state two years ago.

More than 6 percent of Oregon children enter kindergarten without the required number of vaccines. That rate is among the highest in the nation, and it has public health officials concerned.

The Oregon teenager accused of plotting an attack on his high school has obsessive-compulsive disorder brought on in a rare way: a strep infection. That's according to his mother.

Oregon state lawmakers have scheduled a marathon public hearing Friday on four gun control bills. The proposals include a ban on guns in schools and criminal background checks for private gun sales.

Opponents are lining up against the measures, but some gun control advocates say the proposals don't go far enough.

SALEM, Ore. – The state of Oregon is at odds with the federal government over how to use money from Japan meant for cleaning up tsunami debris. It can’t be used to reimburse the state for money it’s already spent.

The Japanese government donated $5 million to the US this fall to help pay for the cost of cleaning up debris from last year’s deadly tsunami. But Oregon hasn't seen a penny of that money so far.

SALEM, Ore. - Governor John Kitzhaber called the Special Session after he said Nike was being courted by other states for a major expansion. The Democrat said he wanted lawmakers to authorize the governor to extend Nike an offer: In exchange for freezing the way Oregon calculates its taxes for as long as 30 years, Nike would agree to spend at least $150 million in capital improvements and expand by at least 500 jobs. Lawmakers grumbled about the short timeframe to consider the proposal, but in the end relatively few voted against it. Democratic Senator Mark Hass said it was a fair bargain.

SALEM, Ore. – An Oregon lawmaker wants to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines in the wake of Tuesday's shooting at the Clackamas Town Center.

Police say Jacob Tyler Roberts opened fire at the crowded shopping mall, killing two people and seriously wounding another. Then he turned the gun on himself. Investigators say he was using a stolen AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.

Democratic Senator Ginny Burdick says she's circulating a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would ban the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds in Oregon.

Jacob Tyler Robert
courtesy of Clackamas County Sheriff's Department.

Two people, plus the suspected shooter, are dead after police say a gunman opened fire at a crowded shopping mall in suburban Portland Tuesday.

An ambulance took one survivor of the attack to OHSU Medical Center in Portland. The young woman is expected to survive.

The mural in downtown Corvallis, Ore., is big: 10 feet high and 100 feet long. One side shows a peaceful countryside setting in rural Taiwan. The other shows police beating protesters in Tibet and a Buddhist monk setting himself ablaze in protest.

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