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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Obama Oso Visit
5:21 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

President Obama Tells Landslide Towns 'Whole Country is Thinking of You'

President Barack Obama speaks to an audience of first responders at the Oso fire house in Snohomish County, Wash.

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 6:12 pm

President Obama told an audience of first responders at the Oso fire house in Snohomish County that he and First Lady Michelle Obama "grieve with you."

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Black Hawk Helicopters Join Search
5:47 pm
Wed March 26, 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 landslide
3:46 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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Labor/Employment
5:25 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Why Are Democrats Suddenly Talking About Minimum Wage?

Talk of raising the minimum wage has been spreading in Washington's Capitol building.
Colin Fogarty

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:40 am

We’re hearing a lot these days about raising the minimum wage.

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Politics & Government
4:26 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Washington Governor Won't Sign Death Warrants

File photo of Oregon's execution chamber.
Oregon Department of Corrections

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:57 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has announced a de facto moratorium on the death penalty.

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executed by lethal injection
4:09 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Execution Witnesses In Washington To See Needle Insertion

File photo of the execution chamber at San Quentin. A camera in the execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla will record more of more of the execution process.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 6:02 pm

The next time a death row inmate is executed by lethal injection in Washington state, witnesses will see more of the process.

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Oregon residents also able to post listings
2:56 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Online Gun Exchange To Launch On Eve Of Washington Gun Hearings

File photo. An online firearms marketplace opens for business in Washington on Monday.
M Glasgow Flickr

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 10:50 am

Starting Monday, Washington gun owners will have a new place to sell their firearms. That’s when a website called Washington Gun Exchange plans to launch.

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how to regulate the medical marijuana marketplace
4:57 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Medical Marijuana Patients Denounce Proposed Plant Limits, Patient Registry

File photo of a of a cannabis plant.
Cannabis Training University Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:54 pm

One of the hottest topics before the Washington legislature this year is how to regulate the medical marijuana marketplace.

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The stigma alone is a major barrier
10:54 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Recruiting Prison Health Care Workers Could Get Harder Under Affordable Care Act

Eric Larsen is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner for the Washington Department of Corrections.
Eric Hernandez Washington Dept. of Corrections

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 9:21 am

It’s no easy task to find doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to take a job in a prison. The stigma alone is a major barrier. Not to mention concerns about personal safety.

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NPR Story
10:46 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Study: Pot Use In Washington Double Original Projections

presensa420 Flickr

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 10:56 am

If there is such a thing, the typical pot smoker in Washington is a white male, 35 or younger with some college education. And he smokes a lot more weed than anyone thought.

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