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. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) 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 is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. 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.

Payouts on lawsuits and other legal claims cost Washington taxpayers nearly $60 million in fiscal year 2015. That’s according to a state report issued Thursday.

Andrew Holmes, a former soldier from Boise, is speaking out about his war crimes and his time in prison. He was the youngest member of what came to be known as the “kill team” from Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The Washington State Patrol is reminding drivers to move over -- or at least slow down -- when approaching an emergency vehicle that’s stopped with its lights flashing. The Patrol will begin a three-day crackdown Tuesday on drivers who don’t give troopers some space.

The Washington State Patrol is recruiting. But in this case it’s not for troopers. It’s for military veterans who applied to be troopers and weren’t hired.

Consultants leading a study on why dozens of troopers have recently left the Washington State Patrol warned Thursday that the agency is in “dire straits.”

Two years ago, Washington lawmakers created a registry for individuals convicted of a gun-related felony. The law was sold as a way to improve police officer safety by creating a database just for them.

The state of Washington has issued workplace safety fines in a bridge demolition accident that killed a couple and their infant son. The fines announced Monday target four construction contractors.

The latest Elway Poll released Monday showed Initiative 1366, a tax-limiting measure on Washington’s November ballot, is tied. Sixteen percent of Washington voters said they’re still not sure how they’ll vote.

Washington Republicans have been talking about impeaching indicted state Auditor Troy Kelley. But now one of Kelley’s fellow Democrats says it’s time to proceed.

Note: This story is an update to a story first reported in 2012 in collaboration with the Seattle Times.

Between 2008 and 2011, more than 20,000 soldiers and Marines were given “other than honorable” discharges from the military. Now, one soldier from Salem, Oregon, has learned his discharge will be upgraded.