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

Hundreds of people rallied in Salem Tuesday evening outside the last in a series of public hearings on a proposed natural gas facility. The Jordan Cove Energy Project wants to build a 230-mile pipeline across southern Oregon, with a terminal near Coos Bay.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

A new legislative session always features new faces at the state capitol building. This year’s crop of freshmen includes two southern Willamette Valley state representatives who are both replacing long-time lawmakers who retired.

Chris Lehman

Oregon’s new Labor Commissioner says her first order of business will be a review of a newly released investigation into sexual harassment at the state capitol. 

Courtesy of Val Hoyle

Val Hoyle, a former Democratic lawmaker who served the Eugene area, will take the oath of office January 7 as the state’s Labor Commissioner. Hoyle served eight years in the Oregon House, rising to the role of majority leader. Her district included west Eugene and Junction City. She first ran for statewide office in 2016, falling short in her bid for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State.

With the new year, a new law that’s intended to make it harder for domestic abusers to get guns takes effect in Oregon. It extends the state’s ban on gun ownership to people convicted of domestic violence or stalking a partner, regardless of whether they are married or living together.

The bill was a top priority for Gov. Kate Brown during the 2018 legislative session. The Democrat signed the measure into law during a ceremony on the steps of the state capitol in March.

Eric R. Day, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,

Oregon forestry officials say a potentially devastating pest hitchhiked into Oregon on a shipment of Christmas trees this year.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has issued a cease and desist order to an investment company it says ripped off about 70 Oregonians. KLCC’s Chris Lehman reports.

The company is called Woodbridge Mortgage Investment. The state says the firm convinced nearly six dozen Oregonians to pay into what the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission called a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme that targeted seniors.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

When Oregon lawmakers take the oath of office January 14, Phil Barnhart won’t be there. The Democratic state representative from Eugene is stepping down after nearly two decades in office. 

Chris Lehman

Some of the roughly 17,000 historic artifacts recovered from the construction site of a new police station in Salem are on public display until December 30 at the Willamette Heritage Center.

United Airlines

Travelers at two Oregon airports will be able to fly non-stop to Chicago starting next summer. United Airlines will add daily flights to Chicago’s O’Hare airport from Eugene and Redmond in early June. The Redmond flight will operate during the summer only, but the Eugene flight will be year-round.

Oregon Legislature

A Eugene non-profit group says its anti-bullying efforts in Lane and Linn County schools could be used as a model statewide. Oregon lawmakers will consider funding an expansion of the program during their next legislative session.

State of Oregon: Higher Education Coordinating Commission

Higher education officials in Oregon will use a new grant to work on improving graduation rates for students of color. 

Chris Lehman

Oregon’s iconic Bottle Bill is being celebrated with a new sculpture in Salem. In 1971, Oregon became the first state in the nation to require a deposit on beverage containers for soda and beer. That landmark legislation is the inspiration for a new nine-foot-tall steel and aluminum sculpture in downtown Salem.