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.

A federal judge in Seattle has made it clear to the state that mentally ill jail inmates need to be evaluated within seven days to see if they’re competent to stand trial.

Washington Lt. Governor Brad Owen traveled to China last year and touted a company that’s now at the center of a federal fraud investigation.

Lawsuits against the Washington Department of Natural of Resources and Snohomish County over the deadly Oso landslide can go forward.

The Washington State Patrol is responsible for guarding the governor and his wife. But audio recordings obtained through public records reveal the Patrol’s Executive Protection Unit is also concerned about protecting the governor politically -- at least when it comes to driving him in a gas-guzzling SUV.

The fate of Washington’s 2016 presidential primary could hinge on a vote Tuesday. That’s when the state’s Presidential Primary Committee will meet to decide whether to move the primary up from May to March.

The frontlines of child protection in Washington are about to get a boost. The new state budget funds more than 40 new caseworker positions.

One of the most prominent guitar makers in the country unknowingly purchased poached bigleaf maple taken from a national forest in southwest Washington state. That’s according to a federal indictment unsealed in Seattle this week.

Firefighters are still on the scene of a quick-moving blaze that burned five homes in rural Mason County, Washington, on Friday. The destruction is evidence of dry conditions even on the west side of the Cascades.

State lawmakers from around the country will descend on Seattle the week of August 3 for a national legislative summit.

The state of Washington is on a hiring spree for forensic psychologists. They’re needed to help address a backlog of mentally ill jail inmates whose competency to stand trial is in question.