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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NPR Story
4:05 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

ACLU Takes On Case Of Idaho Teen In Solitary Confinement

Eldon Samuel III

The ACLU of Idaho has joined the fight to move an accused teenage killer out of solitary confinement and back into juvenile detention.

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NPR Story
5:42 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Inslee Says Feds Will Help Restore Power In Fire Zone

Map of current large fire locations in the Northwest

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Tuesday President Obama has pledged immediate federal aid to help fire-swept areas of north central Washington.

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NPR Story
3:59 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Judge Sides Again With Washington Foster Youth

A judge in Bellingham Monday ordered the state of Washington to do more to locate foster children who run away.

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NPR Story
4:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Washington's Mid-Term Elections Draw In More Than Nearly $33M So Far

Washington’s August primary is less than a month away -- August 5. It’s a mid-term election year with no statewide offices on the ballot. Even so, already nearly $33 million have been contributed to campaigns.

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NPR Story
2:49 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Sides With Boyfriend In School Backpack Shooting

The Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday a Washington man whose loaded gun went off in a school backpack critically injuring a student can’t be charged with third-degree assault.

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NPR Story
4:41 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Washington Jobless Rate At 6-Year Low, But Rural Counties Lag

King County is leading the job recovery in Washington state.

According to the June jobs report released Wednesday, Washington’s jobless rate has dropped to 5.8 percent -- the lowest level in six years.

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NPR Story
6:08 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Long Sentences, Aging Inmates May Strain Washington's Clemency System

Members of the public raise their hands in support of a commutation for a three-strikes offender at a recent meeting of Washington's Clemency and Pardons Board.

In just a few years, Washington will need another 1,000 prison beds. There’s been talk of building a new state lock-up, but that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars at a time when the Supreme Court has said school funding must be the priority.

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NPR Story
4:07 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Poll Finds Washington Gun Rights Initiative Losing Support

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 9:19 am

A new Elway Poll out Tuesday shows support for a gun rights measure on Washington’s fall ballot is flagging. Meanwhile, a dueling measure that would expand background checks remains popular.

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NPR Story
4:22 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Weekend Lightning Could Lead To 'Sleeper' Fires

Firefighters along Highway 97A are battling the Mills Canyon fire in central Washington state.

Wildfires continue to rage around the Northwest. and forecasters say weather conditions are ripe for more fires to develop in the coming days. 

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NPR Story
3:02 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Moses Lake Selected As Test Flight Location For Mitsubishi Regional Jet

Japan-based Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation has announced plans to test its new regional jet in Moses Lake, Washington.

It won’t just be Boeing jetliners flying lumbering test patterns over Moses Lake, Washington. Japan-based Mitsubishi Aircraft announced Monday it has selected Grant County International Airport as its U.S. test flight center to test its new 70 to 90 passenger regional jet. The test flights could start in the fall of 2015.

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