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.


Foster Runaways
4:13 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

One Way To Reduce Foster Runaways: Have Fewer Foster Teens

Washington is under court order to improve its foster system.

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 3:24 pm

Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services now has a team of social workers whose sole job is to find foster youth who run away.

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Foster Runaways
6:43 am
Thu February 12, 2015

The ‘Locator’: Tracking Foster Runaways In Washington

Mike Stamp is one of six Washington DSHS social workers assigned to locate foster youth who run away.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The state of Washington is under court order to keep foster youth from running away. So the state now has a team of “locators”--social workers whose job it is to find runaways and bring them back.

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Congressional Per Diem
3:57 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Wash. State Senators Receive Higher Per Diem After Blasting 2014 Hike

The Washington Capitol in Olympia.
File photo by Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 5:37 pm

Three Washington state senators received a boost in their per diem last month, despite previously saying they wouldn’t take a raise in their daily allowance.

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Foster Runaways
7:09 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Drugs, Danger And Pregnancy: Life As A Foster Runaway

Former foster runaway Amber Armstrong stands near the railroad tracks where she used to wait for a ride when running away.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Each year in Washington, some 400 foster youth run away. Some run multiple times. The state of Washington is now under court order to address this problem. This is the story of one teen who ran multiple times from multiple homes.

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Labor Laws
6:32 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Washington Lawmakers Consider Exempting Amateur Athletes From Labor Laws

File photo of goalie Ty Rimmer of the Tri-City Americans.
Keenen Brown Flickr

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 5:06 pm

Washington lawmakers are considering whether to exempt amateur athletes from state labor laws.

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Government and Politics
4:41 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Gun-Related Measures Abound In Washington Legislature

Visitor7 Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 3:55 pm

From a proposed “stand your ground” law to a proposal to make it a crime to unsafely store a gun, gun rights and gun control measures abound in the Washington legislature this year.

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Gun Show Protest
6:34 am
Mon February 9, 2015

'Will Not Comply' Gun Show Planned In Yakima Area

Credit M Glasgow / Flickr

We’ve seen rallies and demonstrations against Washington’s new voter-approved background check law. But now a gun rights group is planning a “we will not comply” gun show.

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Psychiatric Boarding
4:53 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Critics Assail Proposal To Allow Limited Psychiatric Boarding In Washington

National Institute of Mental Health

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 2:58 pm

Mental health advocates in Washington are assailing a proposal to allow psychiatric boarding in limited cases.

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Government And Politics
4:02 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Politics Swirl Around Labor-Backed Minimum Wage, Sick Leave Policies

WSDOT Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 3:32 pm

Paid sick leave and a boost in the minimum wage are among the top priorities of organized labor in Washington state this year.

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Seattle Seahawks
4:19 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Seahawks Fans Mark 'Moment Of Loudness' On Washington Capitol Steps

Seahawks fans gathered on the steps of the Washington Capitol for a noontime moment of loudness led by Governor Jay Inslee.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 3:24 pm

It was no “Beast Quake,” but Seahawks fans at the Washington state Capitol celebrated a “moment of loudness” Friday for the team.

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