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. 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."

Pages

Lobbyist-Paid Meals
8:28 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Washington Ethics Board To Consider Crackdown On Lobbyist-Paid Meals

Richard Hodgin of Seattle testified in favor of stricter free meal rules for Washington state lawmakers.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

By next January Washington lawmakers should have clearer guidance on when it’s OK to accept free meals from lobbyists.

Read more
Party Bus
8:09 am
Mon April 7, 2014

After Fatalities Nationwide, Washington Regulators Target Party Buses

Party bus owner William Prigmore says his industry helps keep drunk drivers off the road. But state regulators point to nearly two dozen fatalities around the country as evidence the industry needs more regulation.
Credit Austin Jenkins

Prom season is coming up. That means tuxes, gowns and limousines. But these days an old-fashioned stretch limo can look a bit stodgy. The new rage is party buses. They carry more people and you can even stand up, dance and drink as you cruise down the road. But these parties on wheels can come at a price. Nationwide there have been nearly two dozen fatalities on these buses  including one here in the Northwest.

Now regulators in Washington state are getting ready to crack down on the industry.

Read more
Snohomish County Mudslide
4:55 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Lands Commissioner Accuses Anti-Logging Interests Of Exploiting Oso Slide

File photo of the massive landslide that hit Snohomish County in March.
Credit Office of the Governor Flickr

Washington Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark is speaking publicly for the first time since the Oso landslide in Snohomish County.

Read more
Marijuana Lottery
5:01 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Washington Pot Store Lottery Announced; Grow Licenses Lagging

Credit Wikimedia

The timeline for when Washington’s first marijuana retail stores will open has slipped from June to early July, according to state Liquor Control Board staff.

Read more
Snohomish County Mudslide
4:27 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Oso Landslide Could Be Deadliest Disaster In State History

Rescue workers are combing the site of a massive landslide near Oso, Wash.
Credit Maj. Tawny Dotson Washington National Guard

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has acknowledged the Oso landslide could be the deadliest natural disaster in state history. 

Read more
Snohomish County Mudslide
6:14 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

National Guard Searcher Describes 'Sifting' Through Crushed House

Washington National Guard searchers are assisting in the effort to locate victims of the Oso landslide in Snohomish County.
Credit Washington National Guard

The Washington National Guard has now deployed two Blackhawk helicopters to the Oso landslide. On the ground, specially-trained search teams Wednesday looked for victims in the mud and debris. Correspondent Austin Jenkins spoke to one of the National Guard searchers.

Read more
Snohomish County Mudslide
5:26 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Washington National Guard Deploys Search Unit, Fatality Recovery Team

An aerial view of the massive landslide in Snohomish County.
Credit Office of the Governor / Flickr

The Washington National Guard has deployed two technical units to help at the scene of the massive landslide in Snohomish County. One group is trained in search and extraction. The other is a fatality recovery team.

Read more
24/7 Sobriety Program
6:55 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Washington's New 24/7 Sobriety Program Runs Into Snags

Commander Jim Rich of the Centralia Police Department displays the breath test machine used for the 24/7 Sobriety pilot program.
Credit Austin Jenkins

It’s been nearly a year since a repeat drunk driver caused a horrific accident in north Seattle.

A new mother, her 10-day old baby and her in-laws were run down as they crossed the street. The grandparents were killed, the mother and baby critically injured. That tragedy and other high profile drunk driving crashes prompted Washington lawmakers to authorize a pilot program to test repeat drunk drivers twice-a-day to see if they’ve been drinking. But that 24/7 Sobriety program has run into legal and financial snags and now two of the pilot agencies have dropped out.

Read more
Washington State Ferries
3:53 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Washington Ferries Chief To Resign

David Moseley, the head of Washington State Ferries, with Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond.
Credit WSDOT / Flickr

The head of Washington State Ferries says he will step down on April 15th after six years on the job. David Moseley made his announcement Tuesday. His resignation comes as the nation’s largest ferry system continues to encounter choppy seas.

Read more
Hanford
3:37 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Secretary Moniz Meets With Washington Governor On Hanford

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee met with Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Monday.
Credit Office of the Governor

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the US Department of Energy is failing to provide him a “comprehensive” Hanford cleanup plan. The Democrat's comments follow a face-to-face meeting with the Secretary of Energy who made a special trip to meet with the governor.

Read more

Pages