Regional Correspondent

Tom Banse

Tom Banse covers business, environment, public policy, human interest and national news across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be heard during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Before taking his current beat, Tom covered state government and the Washington Legislature for 12 years.  He got his start in radio at WCAL–FM, a public station in southern Minnesota. Reared in Seattle, Tom graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota with a degree in American Studies.

When not sifting through press releases, listening to lobbyists, or driving lonely highways, Tom enjoys exploring the Olympic Peninsula backcountry and cooking dinner with his wife and friends. Tom's secret ambition is to take six months off work and travel to a faraway place beyond the reach of email.

Contact Tom Banse

Recent Articles


Nearly One In Three 911 Calls Are Accidental

Northwest News Network | March 3, 2015 5:59 p.m.

A new statistic from Washington state illustrates a problem emergency call centers throughout the Northwest grapple with. About a third of 911 calls in...


Washington Animal Cruelty Law Could Be Enhanced To Cover Pets in Hot Cars

Northwest News Network | Feb. 27, 2015 4:39 p.m.

When temperatures rise this spring, you're bound to hear the occasional sad tale of a dog locked in a hot car in the sun.

local | Environment

Surge In Long Distance Hiking Spurs Interest In Creating New Trails

Northwest News Network | Feb. 27, 2015 10:16 a.m.

Thousands of people are expected to start long distance treks on the Pacific Crest Trail this year.


Steinbeck Vessel To Be Refloated By New Owner And Northwest Shipwrights

Northwest News Network | Feb. 24, 2015 9:04 p.m.

New ownership is giving new hope to a decrepit, unseaworthy fishing boat with a notable literary pedigree.


Immigrant Deportation Debate Spills Over To State Capitol

Northwest News Network | Feb. 24, 2015 5:33 p.m.

The congressional wrangling over immigration policy -- which threatens to cut off Homeland Security money later this week -- is spilling over to the...


Higher Tax Collections Lowers Pressure On Washington Lawmakers To Raise Revenue

Northwest News Network | Feb. 20, 2015 3:05 p.m.

In Olympia, legislative budget writers got a shot of good news Friday regarding tax collections.


Highway Tunneling Machine Bertha Breaks Into Rescue Pit

Northwest News Network | Feb. 19, 2015 4:59 p.m.

The cutterhead on Seattle's troubled tunnel boring machine broke through the wall of a rescue pit at midday Friday.


Time Expires On Bill To Abolish Daylight Saving Time In Washington

Northwest News Network | Feb. 19, 2015 4:11 p.m.

The sun rose and then quickly set again on a proposal by some state legislators to abolish daylight saving time in Washington state.


Judge Rules Richland Florist Who Refused Gay Wedding Broke Law

Northwest News Network | Feb. 19, 2015 8:20 a.m.

A county judge has ruled that a flower shop in the Tri-Cities broke the law when it refused to serve a gay couple planning a wedding two years ago.


Robots Do The Walking, Lifting At High-Tech Amazon.com Warehouse

Northwest News Network | Feb. 17, 2015 6:03 p.m.

Amazon.com provided a rare look Friday inside one of its gigantic, high tech warehouses.


Move To Limit Vaccine Exemptions Draws Opposition From Some Parents

Northwest News Network | Feb. 17, 2015 4:45 p.m.

Legislative moves to limit school immunization exemptions are drawing vocal opposition from some parents. Opponents of mandatory vaccination crowded a...


Canadian Ports Offer Little Relief For Frustrated Northwest Shippers

Northwest News Network | Feb. 12, 2015 4:37 p.m.

The worsening labor dispute at West Coast container ports is causing shippers to search for alternate pathways to and from Asia.


Northeast Washington Politicians Propose To Relocate Wolves Westward

Northwest News Network | Feb. 6, 2015 7:50 a.m.

Eleven packs of wolves have recolonized northeastern Washington. Now besieged politicians from that area are seriously proposing to relocate some of...


Do Electric Cars Still Need Support From Taxpayers?

Northwest News Network | Feb. 5, 2015 11:38 a.m.

Have electric cars been on the market long enough to stand on their own without public subsidies?


Washington Senate Votes To Legalize Hemp Farming As Oregon Starts Writing Permits

Northwest News Network | Feb. 4, 2015 3:08 p.m.

The Washington state Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to make hemp farming legal. The measure now goes to the state House for further consideration.


'Revenge Porn' Specifically Outlawed Under Proposed State Laws

Northwest News Network | Feb. 4, 2015 11:49 a.m.

Sometimes it's a vengeful ex-lover; sometimes a thief or a hacker is behind it. Either way, explicit, private photos of people keep getting out on the...


Washington, Oregon Lawmakers Propose To Abolish Daylight Saving Time

Northwest News Network | Feb. 3, 2015 5:28 p.m.

Some Oregon and Washington legislators want to end the yearly practice of springing forward and falling back.


Unreliable Snowfall Boosts Ski Resort Interest In Snowmaking

Northwest News Network | Jan. 30, 2015 9:44 a.m.

It's been a tough winter so far for many Cascade Mountains ski resorts. Five in Oregon and Washington have suspended operations until they get more snow...


Could Salmon Be Reintroduced Above Grand Coulee Dam?

Northwest News Network | Jan. 28, 2015 10:05 a.m.

It's been 75 years since salmon and steelhead last swam into the upper reaches of the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam.


Oregon, Washington Propose $12 State Minimum Wages

Northwest News Network | Jan. 26, 2015 9 p.m.

Oregon could leapfrog Washington to have the highest state minimum wage in the country if the Democratically-controlled Legislature approves a proposed...