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. His 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. Austin is the recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Award from the Washington State Association for Justice.

Ways to Connect

Neighborhood Centers / Flickr - tinyurl.com/jaldad5

Russian hackers attempted to penetrate Washington and Oregon’s voter registration systems last year. Top elections officials in both states received that confirmation Friday from the Department of Homeland Security.

TVW

People who buy individual health insurance in Washington state can expect another round of rate hikes next year.

“I’d say double-digit [increases] are almost a certainty,” state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in an interview Thursday on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” program.

Plantlady223 / Wikimedia -tinyurl.com/y865phlt

Washington is the only state with legal marijuana that doesn’t allow home grows. There have been unsuccessful efforts to change that in recent years. Now the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board is taking public comment on the issue through October 11.

U.S. Department of Defense

It seems so simple. Equip police officers with body cameras to record their interactions with the public. But it turns out it’s actually quite complicated.

A legislative task force meets Tuesday in an ongoing effort to try to figure it out.

Aidan Wakely-Mulroney / Flickr - tinyurl.com/zwj3d3j

Teens who take an X-rated selfie and then text the image can be found guilty of trading in child pornography in some cases. That was the 6-3 ruling of the Washington Supreme Court on Thursday.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

A student is dead and three are in serious but stable condition after a shooting Wednesday morning at Freeman High School in Freeman, Washington, near Spokane.

A student told reporters that a male schoolmate had brought two guns to school and fired one of them at the beginning of the late-start school day at 10:15 a.m. Spokane fire chief Brian Schaeffer said the suspect was "taken down safely" and is in custody of law enforcement. 

WSDOT / Flickr

Several media outlets, including public radio, have filed an open records lawsuit against the Washington Legislature. The lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks access to lawmaker emails, text messages and calendars.

Washington State House Republicans / Flickr - tinyurl.com/zlgo6qs

The threat of a nuclear attack, immigration enforcement and paying by the mile to drive are all on the agenda as Washington lawmakers hold meetings the week of September 11.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Guns and domestic violence are a deadly combination. Now domestic violence survivors in Washington can find out if their abusers illegally attempt to buy a gun through a licensed dealer.

That’s because of a first-in-the-nation law that took effect this summer.

U.S. Army

Could a hacker alter your voter registration to disrupt an election? According to a study by Harvard researchers out Wednesday, the answer is yes.

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