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

Washington's Jobless Rate
4:03 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Wash. Unemployment Inches Up, But Construction Shows Signs Of Life

Washington's construction sector added nearly 2,000 jobs in August.
Greg Dunlap Flickr

Washington’s idled construction industry continued to show signs of life in August. Nonetheless, the state’s jobless rate still rose slightly. Overall Washington lost 1,100 jobs last month. The new unemployment rate announced Wednesday is 8.6 percent -– up a tenth of a percent from July.

Read more
Raid On Suspected Poachers And Traffickers
6:46 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Illegal Meat And Fish The Subject Of Raids In Washington

A series of raids by Washington Fish and Wildlife police have targeted suspected poachers and traffickers of items like game meat, endangered fish and antlers.
Lori Iverson U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Washington Fish and Wildlife police have raided more than a dozen locations around the state. The one day blitz on suspected poachers and traffickers follows a two year undercover investigation.

Read more
Solar Power Advocate Investigated
5:08 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Solar Power Advocate Likely Violated State Ethics Law

Solar power advocate Mike Nelson.
Liam Moriarty KPLU

One of the Northwest’s leading solar power advocates likely used his state position to help a company he was working for get an unfair tax designation. That’s the conclusion of a state ethics board investigation released Friday.

Read more
Washington Auditor Race
6:22 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Wash. State Auditor Candidates Clash Over Character Issue

Republican James Watkins (L) and Democrat Troy Kelley are vying for Washington State Auditor.
Photos courtesy Watkins and Kelley campaigns

Character is quickly becoming a key issue in the race for Washington State Auditor. Republican James Watkins and Democrat Troy Kelley sparred Wednesday over the question of honesty as they debated before a business audience.

Watkins reiterated his attack from last week: that Kelley can’t be trusted because of past civil allegations that he misappropriated millions of dollars. Watkins told the debate audience about a deposition Kelley gave in a 2001 wrongful termination lawsuit in California.

Read more
Wash. Auditor Candidates Feud
4:42 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Wash. State Auditor Candidates Clash Over Character At Debate

Republican James Watkins (L) and Democrat Troy Kelley are vying for Washington State Auditor.
Campaign photos Northwest News Network

Character is quickly becoming a key issue in the race for Washington State Auditor. Republican James Watkins and Democrat Troy Kelley sparred Wednesday over the question of honesty as they debated before a business audience.

Read more
Juvenile Lifer Barry Massey
4:14 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Wash. Juvenile Lifer Barry Massey Withdraws Clemency Plea

Barry Massey was one of the youngest juvenile killers in the country to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Now, in a rare move, the Washington inmate has withdrawn his plea for clemency.

Read more
Northwest News
9:46 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Other Than Honorable Veteran Gets Benefits, Second Vet Killed By Police

Photo Credit: Phyllis Lewis

A decorated combat veteran who lost his medical benefits when he was kicked out of the Army for misconduct has learned he will, in fact, qualify for health care from the Veterans Administration.

Read more
Northwest News
9:44 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Northwest Soldier Booted From Army Will Recieve VA Benefits

Photo Credit: Austin Jenkins

Former Staff Sgt. Jarrid Starks was initially barred from receiving VA health care. However, he recently learned he will now qualify for veterans’ benefits.

Read more
Auditor Allegations
7:00 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Wash. State Auditor Candidate Denies Previous Allegations Of Fraud, Theft

State Auditor Candidate Troy Kelley responds to questions about past allegations of business impropriety against him.
Photo by Austin Jenkins Northwest Public Radio

“Untrue” and “unfounded.” Those are the words the Democratic candidate for Washington state auditor is using to describe past allegation of fraud and theft. Troy Kelley Thursday was forced to address a long list of allegations contained in lawsuits relating to his work in the real estate title and escrow business. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has details.

Read more
Wash. State Auditors Race
4:36 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Explosive Allegations In Wash. State Auditors Race

Troy Kelley, the Democratic candidate for Washington state auditor, has been accused of past corrupt business practices.
TVW

Past allegations of corrupt business practices have come back to haunt Troy Kelley, the Democratic candidate for Washington state auditor. Kelley’s Republican opponent Thursday launched a website containing hundreds of pages of court documents. Some of them contain accusations that Kelley misappropriated funds and attempted to move the money offshore.

Read more

Pages