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Olympia Correspondent

Austin Jenkins

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Recent Articles


By Air And Ground, Tour Of Washington Wildfires Reveals Destruction, Unpredictability

Northwest News Network | Aug. 27, 2015 6:10 p.m.

The battle continues to contain dozens of large wildfires burning across the Northwest. Firefighters are hoping for a break in the weather this weekend ...

Business | Politics | local

Washington Lt. Governor Touted Company At Center Of SEC Investigation

Northwest News Network | Aug. 26, 2015 4:02 p.m.

Washington Lt. Governor Brad Owen traveled to China last year and touted a company that's now at the center of a federal fraud investigation.


Oso Lawsuits Can Go Forward, But With Changes

Northwest News Network | Aug. 25, 2015 5:48 p.m.

Lawsuits against the Washington Department of Natural of Resources and Snohomish County over the deadly Oso landslide can go forward.

News | local | Politics

Why Washington's 'Green' Governor Rides In A SUV

Northwest News Network | Aug. 18, 2015 4:50 p.m.

Audio recordings obtained through public records reveal the Patrol’s Executive Protection Unit is concerned about protecting Gov. Jay Inslee politically — at least when it comes to driving him in a gas-guzzling SUV.

Politics | local

Effort To Move Washington's Presidential Primary Fails

Northwest News Network | Aug. 11, 2015 6:30 p.m.

A move to change the May 24 primary date to March 8, just a week after the round of "Super Tuesday" primaries across the country, failed to get the two-thirds vote required by the Presidential Primary Date Selection Committee.


Washington To Get More Child Welfare Caseworkers, But Not As Many As Requested

Northwest News Network | Aug. 6, 2015 2:54 p.m.

The frontlines of child protection in Washington are about to get a boost. The new state budget funds more than 40 new caseworker positions.

local | Environment

Indictment Says Rare Trees Were Poached To Make Guitars

Northwest News Network | Aug. 6, 2015 7:09 a.m.

One of the most prominent guitar makers in the country unknowingly purchased poached bigleaf maple taken from a national forest in southwest Washington state.

News | local

‘Over 100 Years Of History Up In Smoke’

Northwest News Network | Aug. 4, 2015 6:58 p.m.

Firefighters are still on the scene of a quick-moving blaze that burned five homes in rural Mason County, Washington, on Friday.


Interest Groups Abound At State Lawmakers National Conference In Seattle

Northwest News Network | July 29, 2015 6:07 p.m.

State lawmakers from around the country will descend on Seattle the week of August 3 for a national legislative summit.


Training, Quality Assurance Lacking In Washington Forensic Mental Health Program

Northwest News Network | July 29, 2015 5:54 p.m.

The state of Washington is on a hiring spree for forensic psychologists. They're needed to help address a backlog of mentally ill jail inmates whose...


Strange Twist In 'Asylum Playing Cards' Crowdfunding Case

Northwest News Network | July 28, 2015 4:41 p.m.

Backers of a crowdfunding project from 2012 say they're suddenly receiving the product they were promised.


Washington AG Wins $55K Judgment Against Kickstarter Campaign Sponsor

Northwest News Network | July 28, 2015 10:06 a.m.

Washington's Attorney General has won a $55,000 judgment against the backer of a Kickstarter campaign that failed to deliver.


Mother Agonizes As Mentally Ill Inmates Continue To Languish In Washington Jails

Northwest News Network | July 23, 2015 6:10 p.m.

The state of Washington is under a federal court order to address the issue of mentally ill inmates languishing in jail. But the problem has actually...


Washington Liquor Board Adds Cannabis To Its Name

Northwest News Network | July 23, 2015 5:28 p.m.

Washington's Liquor Control Board is getting a new name. Friday it will become the Liquor and Cannabis Board.


Washington Capitol Campus Turns Brown In Drought

Northwest News Network | July 22, 2015 4:35 p.m.

Farms and fish aren't the only ones suffering from Northwest drought conditions. So are trees and plants on Washington's 435-acre Capitol campus.


Washington Activists Celebrate PTSD, TBI As Qualifying Conditions For Medical Pot

Northwest News Network | July 21, 2015 2:54 p.m.

The PTSD and TBI provision is part of a sweeping overhaul of Washington’s medical marijuana industry. The aim of the new law is to regulate medical cannabis under the state’s recreational pot system.


Record-Long Session Produced Surprisingly Few New Laws

Northwest News Network | July 17, 2015 12:44 p.m.

It was a record-long legislative session in Washington. But the number of bills that actually became law was quite few – comparatively.


Washington Capital Construction Budget Includes $130M In Lawmaker-Requested Projects

Northwest News Network | July 16, 2015 3:33 p.m.

Before they left town, Washington lawmakers approved a nearly $4 billion capital construction budget. That includes $130 million in member-requested...

Animals | News | local

Washington Lawmaker Warns Of Noxious Weed After Death Of Horse

Northwest News Network | July 15, 2015 3:30 p.m.

The death of his prized horse has a Washington state lawmaker warning about a noxious weed that's spreading in the Northwest.

Education | News | local | Politics

How Washington's Legislature Suspended The Class-Size Measure

OPB | July 15, 2015 12:43 p.m. | OLYMPIA, Wash.

Tuesday, Washington state suspended a recent voter-approved measure intended to limit class sizes.