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
3:51 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

As Washington Prisons Crowd, Could Some 'Lifers' Get A Second Look?

In 2009, three-strikes offender Stevan Dozier was granted clemency. He stands in front of a mural at King County Juvenile Court that reads “never lose hope.”

Stevan Dozier's crimes were violent purse snatchings. The final time, he hit his 69-year old victim in the face, knocked her to the ground and stole her wallet. As a result, Dozier was one of the first to be sentenced under the voter-approved "three strikes" law back in 1994.

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NPR Story
2:58 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Washington AG Puts Health Plans On Notice To Cover Same-Sex Spouses

File photo of Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is reminding employers they may not discriminate against same-sex spouses when it comes to health coverage.

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NPR Story
6:02 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Names And Details Emerge About Mount Rainier Accident Victims

File photo of Mount Rainier

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 7:14 am

Alpine Ascents International Monday released the name of the second company guide who was killed in this weekend’s climbing tragedy on Mount Rainier. His name was Eitan Green, a Colby College graduate from the Boston area. He was based in Seattle and had guided for Alpine Ascents since 2009.

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NPR Story
7:52 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Climbers Mourn Mount Rainier Tragedy, But Climb On

Mount Rainier as seen from the road to the White River campground.

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 11:12 am

Mount Rainier is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the nation, but this weekend, it became the scene of a terrible tragedy -- the second worst climbing tragedy in the mountain's history. Six climbers apparently fell to their deaths.

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NPR Story
4:38 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Fighting Public Welfare Fraud In Washington Keeps State Investigators Busy

Fraud investigators in Washington state say they expect to announce a major case of public welfare theft next month.

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NPR Story
4:16 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Stopped By A Trooper? Don't Reach For Your Registration

File photo of a new Washington State Patrol cruiser

With the summer driving season fast approaching, the Washington State Patrol is reminding drivers what to do and not do if you’re stopped.

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Generation M
6:52 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Despite Party Differences, Millennial State Lawmakers Find Common Ground

The four youngest members of the Washington legislature are two Democrats and two Republicans who find generational common ground in spite of their political differences.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The Washington legislature is trending a bit younger these day. Nine of the 147 members are under-34 year olds. These millennials are breaking some stereotypes about their generation. At the same time they’re trying to encourage other more disengaged millennials to get involved. They’re also finding some generational common ground across party lines.

It’s not every day the four youngest members of the Washington legislature gather in one place. So, as they sat down recently for an interview, an official legislative photographer snapped photos.

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NPR Story
6:13 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Pacific Tower Expected To Fill With Tenants; Long-Term Funding An Issue

File photo of Pacific Tower, a 14-story former public hospital that also once served as the headquarters of Amazon.com.

After a slow start, the state of Washington says it’s on track to fill the former headquarters of Amazon.com with tenants. But long-term costs remain a concern.

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NPR Story
4:55 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Washington Supreme Court: Employers Must 'Reasonably' Accommodate Religious Practices

File photo of the Washington State Supreme Court.

The Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Washington employers must “reasonably” accommodate the religious practices of their employees.

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NPR Story
5:24 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Inslee's Judicial Appointees Virtually Unopposed On Ballot

Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu takes the oath in the state’s Temple of Justice.

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 10:48 pm

The Washington Supreme Court has its first openly-gay, Asian-American, Latina justice. Former King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu was sworn-in Tuesday.

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