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
3:59 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Washington Supreme Court To Hear Lakewood Police Killings Challenge

File photo of the Temple of Justice in Olympia, Washington.

It’s been almost five years since Maurice Clemmons gunned down four Lakewood, Washington, police officers in a coffee shop. Clemmons’ aunt and cousin were convicted of helping him after the murders.

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NPR Story
5:47 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Pot Grower Says Black Market Can Survive Legalization

Scott Johnson poses outside the Bellingham Towers where he used to own a restaurant and where his attorney has an office.

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 8:29 am

Scott Johnson is one of those natural born salesmen. He used to own a restaurant on the 15th floor of the Bellingham Towers -- Bellingham’s tallest building.

“At first it was called ‘Top of the Towers’ and then after about five years I changed it to ‘City View Grill,’” he says.

Now Johnson comes to Bellingham Towers to see his lawyer -- whose office is also here. Johnson has been sentenced to five years behind bars for his role in a long-running marijuana production and distribution ring.

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NPR Story
9:36 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Washington Attorney General Targets Kickstarter Campaign

The Asylum Playing Cards project raised more than $25,000 on Kickstarter -- but never delivered.

Washington’s attorney general has filed what’s believed to be the first government action against a failed crowdfunding campaign.

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NPR Story
3:46 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Inslee Predicts Washington Will Adopt Controversial Fuel Standard

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 8:59 am

Washington will likely adopt a pollution limit on gasoline and other transportation fuels. That’s the prediction from Democratic Governor Jay Inslee. He recently ordered a feasibility and cost study of a low-carbon fuel standard.

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NPR Story
7:55 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Washington State Files Lawsuit Over Alleged Crowdfunding Scam

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:23 am

One of the victims of an alleged crowdfunding scam says he’s not counting on getting his money back, but he’s glad Washington’s attorney general has filed a consumer protection lawsuit.

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NPR Story
5:21 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Seattle Symphony Has No Plans For Pot Concerts

File photo of the Seattle Symphony Chorale and Orchestra playing at Benaroya Hall.

The only people inhaling at Seattle Symphony concerts will be the wind-instrument players. The Symphony says it has no plans to follow the lead of the Colorado Symphony and hold marijuana-friendly concerts.

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NPR Story
4:31 pm
Thu May 1, 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.

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 11:11 am

The Washington legislature is trending a bit younger these day. Nine of the 147 members are under 34 years old.

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NPR Story
5:58 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Washington Schools Face Multiple Threats From Natural Disasters

A new draft report finds that Washington schools face threats from nine different kinds of natural hazards.

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 7:23 am

The Oso landslide, with 41 dead and two still missing, could be the the third-worst natural disaster in Washington history after the Stevens Pass Avalanche of 1910 and the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.

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NPR Story
4:53 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Washington Governor Signs Executive Order To Reduce Carbon Emissions

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed an executive order that calls for a new cap-and-market program to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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NPR Story
5:44 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Washington's Fictitious Driver's License Program Larger Than First Reported

Washington Department of Licensing

A new report reveals the state of Washington issued nearly 3,000 fictitious driver’s licenses to police agencies over the last 25 years.

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