Chris M Lehman

News Reporter

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”

Chris has been to all 50 states and every Canadian province. He’s also traveled abroad extensively. He lives in Keizer with his wife, three children, and a handful of backyard chickens. 

Ways to Connect

Chris Lehman / KLCC

The City of Corvallis is renaming its community center after local Native Americans said the current name is culturally insensitive. It’s called the “Chintimini Senior and Community Center.” Chintinimi is a Kalapuya word and the center has had that name for decades.

Amid a massive renovation project, the city decided to reach out to Native Americans to see what they thought of the name. Their response: Maybe don’t use that word. 

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Oregon State University says a new lab will help develop safer and more economically viable wood products.

Rachael McDonald / KLCC

The Port of Newport says it can save millions of dollars by refinancing two long-term bonds.

Department of State Lands

The Oregon Department of State Lands is seeking public input this month on whether to ban camping on the islands of the Willamette River in Eugene.

University of Oregon

The University of Oregon says it has set a record for the largest number of first-year students on the opening day of the fall term.

jessica45 from Pixabay

A program that offers free attorneys for immigrants at risk of deportation in Oregon is now available statewide. It’s called “Equity Corps,” and for the past year it was only available to people in the Portland area. 

Rachael McDonald / KLCC

A judge in Lincoln County has overturned a ban on aerial pesticide spraying.

Lebanon Fire District

The Lebanon Fire District is asking voters this November to approve a bond that would pay for a new fire station and five new fire trucks. The district says the bond would cost the average homeowner about $31 a year. The bulk of the money would go toward replacing the 44-year-old main fire station at 1050 W. Oak Street.

Oregon Department of Forestry

New rules could mean more prescribed burning in Oregon this fall.  Prescribed burns are fires set on purpose to reduce the buildup of potential wildfire fuel. The idea is that a little burning during cooler, wetter months can reduce the chance of a catastrophic, out-of-control blaze in the summer.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

The Oregon Department of Revenue will hold a public meeting in Eugene Wednesday evening to answer questions and gather input on the state’s new Corporate Activity Tax. The tax is the cornerstone of a bill approved by Oregon lawmakers this year to raise $1 billion a year to fund K-12 education. It will be levied on businesses with revenues of more than $1 million a year.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

The penalty for businesses that sell alcohol to underage people in Oregon could double. That’s under a proposal being considered by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Oregon State Police

Oregon is one of 24 states joining a lawsuit filed Friday against the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of California’s vehicle emissions standards.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University says the number of women on the faculty of its engineering school has rapidly increased and is now among the highest in the nation. 

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Linn-Benton Community College cut the ribbon Tuesday on a newly renovated Career Technical Education facility. The programs at the center, which is located on LBCC's main campus in Albany, include skills sought after by many employers in the area, such as welding, machining, and industrial fabrication.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Oregon lawmakers will return to the Capitol Monday for the first time since June. It's the first round of “Legislative Days” since the whirlwind closing days of the 2019 legislative session.

U.S. House of Representatives

Thursday was the first day that Oregon candidates could file to run in the May primary. Among the dozens of office-seekers throwing their name in the ring was longtime Congressman Peter DeFazio.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Communities around the country and here in Oregon gathered Wednesday on the 18th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. 

Centers for Disease Control

Oregon retailers have done better this year in refusing to sell tobacco to minors. But state inspections found one product with a very high rate of illegal sales.

The state uses underage buyers as decoys to see if stores peddling tobacco will sell it to minors without checking IDs. In just over 1,000 inspections, about 16 percent of retailers failed the test…that’s down slightly from the year before.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

The Oregon State Police have a new four-legged helper for solving wildlife-related crimes. His name is Buck and he’s a three-year-old yellow Lab. He’s the first ever K-9 assigned to help out with the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division.

Rachael McDonald / KLCC

Oregon is one of five states that allows unlimited donations to state campaigns. The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled political giving is protected by the state constitution.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Bus riders will soon have more options in some Oregon cities. It’s thanks to a payroll tax created by state lawmakers two years ago.

Benton County

An historic covered bridge on the campus of Oregon State University will get some needed repairs this fall. The Irish Bend Covered Bridge was built in the early 1950’s on a rural road about 15 miles southwest of Corvallis. After the road was re-aligned, the bridge fell into disrepair. A fundraising effort in the late 80’s led to the bridge being dismantled and moved to the OSU campus, where it now forms part of a bike path.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Backers of a unique voting method are trying once again to convince voters in Eugene and Lane County to adopt the system.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

The Oregon State Fair has been an end-of-summer tradition in Salem since the 1860’s. The 2019 edition kicked off August 23 with the usual variety of farm animals, fair food, and carnival rides.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Public health officials in Oregon are asking medical professionals to be on the lookout for severe respiratory illnesses among people who use e-cigarettes.

Linn-Benton Community College

Linn-Benton Community College will break ground Thursday on a two-story addition to its Corvallis campus. The school says the project will include 20,000 square feet of additional classroom space, as well as expanded parking.

City of Albany

The City of Albany is seeking public input as it updates its master plan for parks and recreation. The master plan helps the city focus its priorities for parks and recreational programs over the coming decade. The department is gathering input through an online survey and at public events.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

A new law signed this month by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will require pharmaceutical companies to create a statewide prescription drug take-back program. The goal is to prevent unused medication from ending in landfills, waterways or in the hands of people it isn’t meant for.

Some pharmacies and police stations already allow people to drop off their unwanted medicine, but the new law will require a robust statewide prescription take-back program, funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

Oregon Secretary of State

A Roseburg man known for helping to stop a terrorist attack on a French train announced Thursday that’s running for Congress. In 2015, Alek Skarlatos and several others helped take down a gunman on a high speed train headed for Paris. The incident propelled him to worldwide fame, and landed him a slot on the TV show “Dancing with the Stars.”

City of Corvallis

The third annual Open Streets Corvallis event is scheduled for this Sunday, August 18.