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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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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Oso Mudflow
8:53 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Washington National Guard Deploys Search Unit, Fatality Recovery Team

An aerial view of the massive landslide in Snohomish County.
Office of the Governor Flickr

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 9:34 am

The Washington National Guard has deployed two technical units to help at the scene of the massive landslide in Snohomish County.

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Government
8:48 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Washington Senate Panel Approves $30 Per Diem Increase

File photo of the Washington Senate chamber
Lincolnite Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 4:55 pm

Washington state Senators are giving themselves a pay raise. They will get $120 a day in per diem when they are in session -- up from the current $90 a day.

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Drunk Driving
7:26 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Washington's New 24/7 Sobriety Program Runs Into Snags

Commander Jim Rich of the Centralia Police Department displays the breath test machine used for the 24/7 Sobriety pilot program.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:17 pm

It’s been nearly a year since a repeat drunk driver caused a horrific accident in north Seattle.

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Transportation
5:03 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Washington State Ferries Chief To Resign

David Moseley, the head of Washington State Ferries, with Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond.
WSDOT Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:07 pm

David Moseley, the head of Washington State Ferries, announced Tuesday that he will step down on April 15 after six years on the job.

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Nuclear Waste Cleanup
9:05 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Energy Secretary Meets With Inslee On Hanford

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee met with Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Monday.
Office of the Governor

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 2:51 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the U.S. Department of Energy is failing to provide him a “comprehensive” Hanford clean-up plan.

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Medical Cannabis
5:14 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Washington Governor 'Surprised' Medical Marijuana Regulation Failed

Governor Jay Inslee speaks with reporters at a news conference following the adjournment of the Washington legislature
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:20 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he’s surprised and disappointed medical marijuana regulation died in the state legislature this year.

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News
8:16 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Washington Legislature Adjourns With No Action On Medical Marijuana, Gas Tax

The floor of the Washington Senate on the last night of the 60-day session
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:17 pm

The Washington legislature adjourned its 60-day session just before midnight Thursday night.

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