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Olympia Correspondent, Northwest News Network

Austin Jenkins

Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network.

Since 2004, Austin has covered Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington state Legislature. He also host of TVW's 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’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.


Austin is a graduate of Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut.

Contact Austin Jenkins

Recent Articles


No Wheelchair, No Justice Say Advocates For Disabled Inmates

Northwest News Network | June 22, 2016 9 a.m.

Life in prison is no picnic. But imagine being blind or deaf or in a wheelchair behind bars.

News | Business | Economy | local

Veteran-Owned Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Close June 30

Northwest News Network | June 21, 2016 10:15 a.m.

The end is near for a veteran-owned medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Olympia.

Politics | News | local | Election 2016

Gun Questionnaires Aim To Pin Washington State Candidates Down

Northwest News Network | June 20, 2016 6:15 p.m.

This year’s NRA questionnaire to Washington candidates includes questions about a ban on so-called assault weapons, limiting magazine capacity and guns on college campuses.

local | Election | Election 2016

Washington Democrats Aim To Avoid Nevada-Like Meltdown At State Convention

Northwest News Network | June 16, 2016 6:15 p.m.

Washington state Democrats are confident they will avoid a Nevada-like meltdown at their state convention this weekend.

News | local

Pride Flag Raised, Then Lowered To Half-Staff At Washington State Capitol

Northwest News Network | June 15, 2016 5:43 p.m.

 The rainbow pride flag was raised over the Washington state Capitol Wednesday. It was then immediately lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims of last weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando.


After A 9.0 Earthquake And Tsunami, Rescue Means Parachutes And MASH Tents

Northwest News Network | June 10, 2016 5:15 p.m.

In preparation for a subduction zone earthquake, which would take out roads and bridges, emergency responders in Washington are training to dropping supplies and soldiers into strategic locations by parachute.

News | local | Election 2016

In A Trump Year, Candidates Look For Ways To Shake Things Up

Northwest News Network | June 9, 2016 7:30 p.m.

"Rubber chicken dinners" aren't going to cut it in this election season, so candidates are jumping to extremes by jumping out of planes.


Planes And Parachutes Might Be Best Bet After 9.0 Earthquake

Northwest News Network | June 9, 2016 5:45 p.m.

Planes and parachutes might be the best bet for getting supplies to cut-off areas in the event of a subduction zone earthquake. National Guard pilots and paratroopers practiced supply drops and parachute jumps Thursday.

News | local | Oil Trains In The Northwest

Gov. Inslee Presses Railroad Chiefs On Oil Train Safety

Northwest News Network | June 8, 2016 8 p.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants oil trains to slow down and safety improvements to speed up.

Environment | News | local | Oil Trains In The Northwest

Washington Ecology Director: Region 'Falling Short' On Oil Spill Response

Northwest News Network | June 6, 2016 3:30 p.m.

Friday’s oil train derailment and fire comes as Washington state prepares to put new oil shipment safety rules into effect. In fact, the derailment in the Columbia Gorge happened just as the first public hearing on those rules was wrapping up in Vancouver, Washington.

News | local | Health

Washington's Troubled Western State Hospital Gets Another Chance At Turnaround

Northwest News Network | June 3, 2016 7:15 p.m.

Washington’s troubled Western State Hospital won’t lose nearly $50 million in federal funding — for now.

News | local

Feds Plan To Retry Troy Kelley On Deadlocked Counts

Northwest News Network | May 31, 2016 6:45 p.m.

Federal prosecutors say they intend to retry Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley after his first trial ended in April with the jury voting to acquit on one count and deadlocked on 14 others.

Politics | News | local

Troy Kelley Scheduled To Be Back In Court, Feds Could Signal Plans

Northwest News Network | May 27, 2016 3:42 p.m.

Last month, a federal jury acquitted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley of lying to IRS agents, but deadlocked on 14 other charges related to his past real estate services business.

News | local

Washington Senate Republicans Blame Early Release Mistake On Ex-Corrections Chief, Governor's Office

Northwest News Network | May 25, 2016 7:45 p.m.

It’s been five months since Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that over a 13-year period nearly 3,000 prison inmates were accidentally released early.

local | Election 2016

Cruz Backers Will Represent Washington GOP At National Convention

Northwest News Network | May 21, 2016 4:29 p.m.

The highly-organized Washington campaign for Ted Cruz all but swept the delegate elections at the state GOP convention in Pasco over the weekend. That...

Politics | News | local | Election 2016

Cruz Delegates At Washington Convention Wrestle Over Trump

Northwest News Network | May 20, 2016 5:58 p.m.

Dr. Esther Hunte wore a red Ted Cruz T-shirt to the Washington Republican Convention in Pasco Friday. She isn’t sure she can support the candidacy of her party’s apparent presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

Politics | local | Election 2016

Washington State Republicans Search For Common Ground At State Convention

Northwest News Network | May 19, 2016 5:50 p.m.

A Reagan restart. An outsider’s election. That’s how Washington Republicans are describing this year’s presidential campaign as they gather in Pasco for their state convention.

Politics | News | local | Election | Election 2016

Washington GOP Chair Expects Party To Coalesce Around Trump

Northwest News Network | May 18, 2016 2:54 p.m.

Washington Republicans will ultimately coalesce around Donald Trump as the apparent presidential nominee. That's the prediction of state Republican Party Chair Susan Hutchison.


Bringing In Campaign Cash Through Food, Drinks ... And A Taser Demo

Northwest News Network | May 16, 2016 7:15 p.m.

‘Tis the season for campaign fundraising. That means candidates are dialing for cash and hosting at all manner of events to bring in the money.

News | local

No Shortage Of Marijuana In Washington Say Researchers

Northwest News Network | May 12, 2016 6 p.m.

A University of Washington study concluded about 30 football fields worth of marijuana are needed to serve the medical marijuana market in Washington. That translates to about two million square feet of canopy.