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. He regularly files stories for NPR News. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin was a freelance general assignment reporter at KING–TV, the NBC affiliate in Seattle. He also worked as a freelance education reporter for KPLU–FM, the Tacoma–based NPR station. Austin spent 2001 in Washington, D.C. as a Knight Foundation/American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. Austin has also worked as a television reporter in Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Casper, Wyoming; and Bozeman, Montana. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and has a B.A. in Government from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut.

Over the years Austin has won numerous professional awards for his reporting. He lives in Olympia with his wife Jennifer Huntley and their two children.

Read Austin's blog, "The Washington Ledge: Dispatches From Olympia."

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Public Safety
8:17 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Washington Schools Face Multiple Threats From Natural Disasters

A new draft report finds that Washington schools face threats from nine different kinds of natural hazards.

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 7:23 am

The Oso landslide, with 41 dead and two still missing, could be the the third-worst natural disaster in Washington history after the Stevens Pass Avalanche of 1910 and the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.

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Climate Change
7:07 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Washington Governor Signs Executive Order To Reduce Carbon Emissions

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 4:53 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed an executive order that calls for a new cap-and-market program to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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Government
6:44 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Washington's Fictitious Driver's License Program Larger Than First Reported

Washington Department of Licensing

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 5:44 pm

A new report reveals the state of Washington issued nearly 3,000 fictitious driver’s licenses to police agencies over the last 25 years.

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Historical Records
4:32 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

No Permanent Damage After Flood At Washington State Archives

Blue tarps protect historic records from flood waters dripping down from above at the Washington State Archives in Olympia.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 5:07 pm

Clean-up efforts are underway at the Washington State Archives in Olympia after a newly-installed kitchen sink line caused a flood overnight.

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Marijuana License Lottery
7:08 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Even University Mathematicians Have Role In Marijuana Legalization

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:12 pm

The path to marijuana legalization in Washington state is keeping a lot of people busy -- even university math professors.

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Federal Support
7:36 am
Wed April 23, 2014

President Tours Disaster Zone, Offers Support One Month After Deadly Landslide

President Barack Obama speaks at the firehouse in Oso, Wash., Tuesday.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 7:26 am

President Obama says the “whole country” is thinking about the victims of the Oso landslide in Snohomish County.

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Pot Legalization
8:07 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Youth Access To Marijuana Remains A Concern Under Legalization

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 1:04 pm

As Washington and Colorado go where no state or nation has gone before concerns remain about kids getting their hands on pot.

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Government Transparency
3:44 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Washington Ethics Board To Consider Crackdown On Lobbyist-Paid Meals

Richard Hodgin of Seattle testified in favor of stricter free meal rules for Washington state lawmakers.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:26 pm

By next January, Washington lawmakers should have clearer guidance on when it’s OK to accept free meals from lobbyists.

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Washington State Legislature
8:04 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Washington Senate Majority Leader Tom Won't Seek Re-Election

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom announced Monday that he is dropping his bid for re-election.
Washington Legislature

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 3:10 pm

One of the most influential and controversial members of the Washington legislature made a bombshell announcement Monday.

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Parties On Wheels
6:09 am
Mon April 7, 2014

After Fatalities Nationwide, Washington Regulators Target Party Buses

Party bus owner William Prigmore says his industry helps keep drunk drivers off the road.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:12 pm

These days an old fashioned stretch limo can look a bit stodgy. The new rage is party buses.

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Wash. Lands Commissioner
4:15 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Goldmark Accuses Anti-Logging Interests Of Exploiting Oso Slide

File photo of the massive landslide that hit Snohomish County in March.
Office of the Governor Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 3:59 pm

Washington Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark is speaking publicly for the first time since the Oso landslide in Snohomish County.

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Marijuana Legalization
4:01 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Washington Pot Store Lottery Announced; Grow Licenses Lagging

Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 3:01 pm

The timeline for when Washington’s first marijuana retail stores will open has slipped from June to early July, according to state Liquor Control Board staff.

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Natural Gas
8:49 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Washington LNG Plant Still Not Safe For Investigators

Google Earth view of the liquefied natural gas storage facility in Plymouth, Wash.
Google Earth

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 3:20 pm

State and federal pipeline safety investigators have not yet been able to access the scene of an explosion and fire at a natural gas facility in southeast Washington.

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Oso Mudslide
8:53 am
Thu March 27, 2014

National Guard Searcher Describes 'Sifting' Through Crushed House

Washington National Guard searchers are assisting in the effort to locate victims of the Oso landslide in Snohomish County.
Washington National Guard

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:31 pm

The Washington National Guard has now deployed two Black Hawk helicopters to the Oso landslide. On the ground, specially-trained search teams looked for victims in the mud and debris.

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Oso Mudslide
3:40 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

First Trooper On Scene Of Landslide Describes Baby Rescue

Trooper Rocky Oliphant emerges from the Oso landslide after assisting with the rescue of an infant boy. Oliphant was the first trooper on the scene of the disaster on Saturday.
Washington State Patrol

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 3:22 pm

One of the first pictures from the Oso landslide was of a muddied state trooper emerging from the disaster zone just after helping to rescue a critically injured baby.

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