Austin Jenkins

Olympia Correspondent

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.


Juvenile Arrests
4:31 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Push To End Mandatory Arrest Of 16, 17-Year-Olds For Domestic Violence

Brianhe Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 4:16 pm

When police are called to a report of domestic abuse, often someone goes to jail.

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Strip Searches
4:14 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

King County Defends Juvenile Strip Searches In Detention

Brianhe Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 3:38 pm

At the juvenile detention facility in King County, Washington, strip searches are common practice at intake for serious and violent offenders or those accused of a drug crime.

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Government And Politics
4:50 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Lawmakers Proposed The Darndest Things


Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 4:47 pm

It’s the end of week two of Washington’s legislative session. Already more than 1,200 bills have been introduced.

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Medical Marijuana Regulation
7:18 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Dispensary Owner And Iraq Veteran Patient Both Wary Of Medical Marijuana Regulation

Patrick Seifter owns Rainier Xpress marijuana dispensary in Olympia. He supports regulation, but is concerned that proposals under consideration in the legislature could put him out of business.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Thursday is Medical Cannabis Lobby Day at the Washington Capitol. State lawmakers say this is the year they will rein in the state’s “Wild West” medical pot industry.  But at least one dispensary owner fears he’ll go out of business as a result. And one of his customers – an Iraq War veteran - worries that regulation will price him out of his medication.

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Class Size Initiative
4:56 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Class Size Campaign Prepares To Do Battle With Washington Legislature

Credit Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Washington voters barely approved it in November. Now backers of an initiative to reduce class sizes are preparing to mount a new campaign. They have to convince lawmakers to fund the new law.

Initiative 1351 orders the state to reduce class sizes in kindergarten through 12th grade. The specific class size targets come from the state’s Quality Education Council.

But achieving them could require 25,000 new teachers and support staff over the next four years. Some lawmakers have called the initiative a “budget buster.”

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Medical Marijuana
4:00 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

King County Prosecutor Puts Medical Marijuana Businesses 'On Notice'

Washington lawmakers say they are confident a bipartisan agreement will emerge to regulate the state's medical marijuana industry.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 3:23 pm

At a Tuesday news conference, King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg said Washington’s unregulated medical marijuana industry is “unworkable” and “needs to be fixed.

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Avian Bird Flu
5:02 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

New Case Of Avian Flu Confirmed In Washington State

File photo of a Sebastopol goose.

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:50 pm

Another case of avian flu has been confirmed in birds in Washington state -- this time in a backyard flock in Port Angeles.

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Mental Health Law
5:02 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Father Of Slain Woman Lobbies For Mental Health Laws

Gary Kennison, right, and Kristen Otoupalik, left, help state Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, introduce a mental health-related bill named in honor of Kennison's murdered daughter Sheena Henderson.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 3:53 pm

The father of a Spokane woman shot to death by her husband in a murder-suicide is pushing for expanded mental health laws in Washington.

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Gun Safety
4:59 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Washington House Joins Senate In Banning Openly-Carried Guns In Galleries

Troopers with the Washington State Patrol review the runs of what is prohibited in the Senate's public viewing galleries. Both the Senate and House have now decided to include openly-carried guns on the list of prohibited items.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 4:30 pm

The Washington House has joined the state Senate in banning openly carried guns in the public viewing galleries.

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Oso Deputy Honored
5:11 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Oso Hero Deputy Honored With Officer Of The Year Award

Snohomish County Sheriff's Deputy Glen Bergstrom receives the ''officer of the year'' medal from Lt. Governor Brad Owen.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 3:29 pm

A Snohomish County Sheriff’s Deputy has been named “officer of the year” for his actions in the aftermath of the Oso landslide.

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