Chris Lehman

Salem Correspondent

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 freelance basis. He's filed stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda. He lives in Salem with his wife and children.

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Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside the airport Friday in Roseburg, Oregon. They’re awaiting the expected midday arrival of President Obama.

Some southwest Oregon gun owners say they're worried that the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg will spur lawmakers to pass more gun laws.

Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, reopened Monday for the first time since a student opened fire there and killed nine people on Thursday.

Until Thursday, Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, Oregon, had only drilled for a mass casualty event. Then a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College.

John Locher / AP

There's still no known motive for the gunman who opened fire at a community college Thursday in southern Oregon. The city of Roseburg was rocked by news that ten people died in a shooting at nearby Umpqua Community College. 

Gosia Wozniacka / AP

Starting Thursday, adults 21 and over can buy marijuana for recreational use in Oregon. And they will have plenty of places to buy it from.

Russel Sanders / Raise the Wage Oregon

Low-wage workers in Washington will find out later this week how much the state minimum wage will go up next year to account for inflation.

Meanwhile, Oregon voters could see competing minimum-wage initiatives on their 2016 ballot. A group that favors a hike to $13.50 per hour kicked off their signature gathering campaign Monday.

Chris Lehman

Starting next month, adults in Oregon will be able to walk into a medical marijuana dispensary and buy pot for recreational use. But not in dozens of communities across the state, where local officials have banned such sales.

Across the street from a KFC in La Grande, Oregon, you can buy marijuana - if you know where to look.

The state of Oregon has updated its master plan for what to do in case of a major earthquake and tsunami.

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.

Ted S. Warren / AP

The recent rain doesn't mean the wildfire danger is over. That's the message heading into Labor Day weekend from fire managers in the Northwest.

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.

Recreational marijuana will soon be legal to use in Oregon and the state Tuesday unveiled a public education campaign meant to help people understand the new law.

The Oregon House is set to vote Monday on a measure that would require a doctor or nurse to be on hand when you donate a pint of blood.

Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes more opportunities to be outside. Oregon lawmakers want children to slather on the sunscreen when they hit the playground.

Oregon lawmakers gave initial approval Tuesday to a bill that would ban so-called "conversion therapy" on youth.

Northwest lawmakers are considering whether to make it harder for parents to opt out of immunizing their children.

The number of registered voters in Oregon could soon increase dramatically.

Legislative Democrats in Oregon are keeping their promise to quickly use their larger majorities to their advantage.

Don Ryan / AP Photo

Kate Brown has been sworn in as Oregon's 38th governor.

"It's been a tough few months," Brown said in a speech at the capitol after taking the oath of office. "The people of Oregon have reason to question their trust in state government." 

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Don Ryan / AP Photo

Under a cloud of pressure and scrutiny, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber announced his resignation on Friday, cutting short his record-setting fourth term in office.

The governor had said as recently as Wednesday that he would stay in office. Kitzhaber and his fiancée Cylvia Hayes face a criminal investigation and political pressure over allegations of selling access to his office.

Don Ryan / AP Photo


Oregon's House speaker and Senate president have both asked Gov. John Kitzhaber to resign. The request comes as the governor is under intense pressure as part of an ongoing ethics scandal.

Don Ryan / AP Photo

Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown launched a wave of speculation in the state capitol Wednesday by abruptly leaving a conference she was attending in Washington, D.C. Brown is first in line of succession to the governor’s office.

Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancée Cylvia Hayes are facing criminal investigations over allegations they used his office for personal gain.

Wikimedia Commons


The state of Oregon now has a third major political party, according to the secretary of state. The Independent Party has achieved the status that, until now, was enjoyed by only Democrats and Republicans.



Some Northwest lawmakers want to make it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.

The proposals come as a measles outbreak has spread to 14 states including Oregon and Washington.

Nigel Pacquette / Wikimedia Commons


Northwest farmers and orchardists are among the potential beneficiaries if the U.S. and Cuba normalize their relationship and the trade embargo ends.

They're among many still trying to sort out what President Obama's announcement Wednesday of changes in Cuba policy could mean for them.