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

Tony Overman / The Olympian

The director of Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced a series of steps to address the workplace culture in the agency and encourage employees to come forward if they witness harassment or other misconduct.

Michael Bennion

As Washington state prepares to reopen its popular pre-paid college tuition program, a recently terminated employee is alleging “gross mismanagement.”

Michael Bennion served as the associate director for fiscal planning at the state’s Guaranteed Education Tuition program until he was let go earlier this month.

Douglas County PUD

After 50 years, Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife will no longer operate the Wells Hatchery on the Columbia River near Pateros.

The Douglas County PUD, which owns the hatchery and a satellite facility in Winthrop, decided Monday to exercise a 90-day termination clause in its contract following an investigation into a “highly sexualized workplace” culture at the facility.

Washington Department of Corrections

Two Washington state inmates at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen have filed a civil rights complaint in federal court over prison shaving policies.

Douglas County PUD

Four Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife employees were fired this month after an investigation found an “extremely sexualized culture” at a fish hatchery on the Columbia River.

Troy Carpenter / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/y842sjv3

Large crowds are expected to flock to Goldendale Observatory State Park to watch the August 21 eclipse. But as visitors look to the skies, they may not realize a renovation of that south central Washington observatory is on hold for very earthly reasons.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Lawmakers in Washington state had a fight so bad last month, they got together in a basement conference room Wednesday.

Tony Overman / The Olympian

A former deputy director at Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is awaiting trial on charges he broke into the home of a co-worker and raped her while she slept.

The case has revealed a sexually-charged culture within the agency that one employee described as “a pattern of behavior that was not hidden.”

Northwest News Network

  Our staff checks in from around the Northwest with tales of hazy days and record-breaking heat.

Washington DSHS

After a national search, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has tapped an insider to run the state’s largest agency. Western State Hospital CEO Cheryl Strange will take over as secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services in September.

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