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Regional Correspondent, Northwest News Network

Tom Banse

Tom Banse is a regional correspondent for the Northwest News Network, covering business, environment, public policy, human interest and national news across the Northwest.

Tom has covered state government and the Washington Legislature for more than a decade. He got his start in radio at a public radio station in southern Minnesota, WCAL.

Reared in Seattle, Tom graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota with a degree in American Studies.

Tom enjoys exploring the Olympic Peninsula backcountry and cooking dinner with his wife and friends.

Contact Tom Banse

Recent Articles

Health | Politics | local | News

Following Oregon's Lead, Jay Inslee Signs 12-Month Birth Control Refill Bill

Northwest News Network | May 18, 2017 8 a.m.

The same law took effect in Oregon last year. It requires insurance companies to cover a 12-month refill of birth control prescriptions instead of making women go to the pharmacy every month.

Nation | local | Politics | News

Washingtonians Face Choices Soon On What Kind Of State ID To Get

Northwest News Network | May 16, 2017 3:56 p.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law on Tuesday a measure to bring the state into compliance with federal ID security standards. 

local | Politics | Environment | News

Mr. Floatie To Retire As Victoria Gets Off The Pot On Sewage Treatment

Northwest News Network | May 7, 2017 2 p.m.

A thorn in cross-border relations between the northwestern U.S. and Canada is going away. And therefore so too is one of the best protest mascots in recent history.

local | Education | News

Annual Earthquake Drills Left As Optional For Washington State Schools

Northwest News Network | May 3, 2017 7:15 p.m.

Public schools in Washington state would be encouraged — but not required — to hold at least one earthquake drill per year under a measure scheduled for Gov. Jay Inslee's signature Thursday.

Business | local | News

Whispers In Wenatchee, Washington, Raise Hopes Of Aluminum Industry Revival

Northwest News Network | April 28, 2017 10:09 a.m. | Ferndale, Washington

Public utility commissioners in Chelan County, Washington, take a high stakes vote Monday that could influence whether the aluminum industry makes a comeback in the Pacific Northwest.

local | Politics | Environment | News

Washington State Doubling Its Electric Vehicle Fleet

Northwest News Network | April 27, 2017 3:46 p.m. | Olympia, Washington

Prior to this order, the state had about 120 older electric vehicle models such as the Nissan Leaf in its fleet.


Labor Issues Loom For Alaska Airlines-Virgin America Merger

Northwest News Network | April 26, 2017 6:15 p.m.

Unionized pilots at Alaska Airlines and recently acquired Virgin America pulled off a virtual barrel roll Wednesday to get management's attention. The...


Solar Eclipse Mania: 1,000 Additional Oregon Campsites Snapped Up In 90 Minutes

Northwest News Network | April 19, 2017 6:33 p.m.

A rare total eclipse of the sun will cross the U.S. on the morning of August 21, 2017. It starts on the Oregon coast and then sweeps east. In Oregon,...


Hefty Mountain Snowpack Foretells 'Epic' Whitewater Season

Northwest News Network | April 7, 2017 2:48 p.m.

April is the traditional start of the whitewater rafting season. The hefty snowpack in the mountains this year is good news for commercial rafting...


WSU Researchers Find 'Sleep Gene' Common To 3 Species Including Humans

Northwest News Network | April 5, 2017 4:52 p.m.

If you have trouble getting a good night's sleep, it could be in your DNA. A team led by Washington State University-Spokane researchers has discovered...

Business | local | News

Chill On Our Legal Marijuana: Northwest Governors Write To Trump Administration

Northwest News Network | April 3, 2017 4:30 p.m.

The governors of Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska have written a joint letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking for forbearance with their marijuana policy experiments.

Business | local | Food | News

Who Raises The Best Steak? Japan And US Ranchers Cultivate Related Bloodlines

Northwest News Network | March 29, 2017 6:45 p.m.

Kobe beef is expensive and hard to get, but it is getting easier and easier these days to find more affordable “American style Kobe beef" at your neighborhood upscale grocery.

Business | local | NW Life | News

Formerly All-Boeing Alaska Air To Keep Airbus Jets 'For The Foreseeable Future'

Northwest News Network | March 29, 2017 6:30 p.m.

Alaska Airlines executives say the integration of former rival Virgin America is proceeding on track; however, one thing left up in the air was how long Alaska will keep Virgin America's Airbus fleet.

History | local | NW Life | News

How To Respectfully Dispose Of An Aging Totem Pole

Northwest News Network | March 21, 2017 8 a.m.

In 1961, the City of Seattle shipped to its new sister city of Kobe, Japan, a 35-foot tall totem crowned by a thunderbird figure with wooden wings spread wide.

local | News

Oregon Agency Plans Earthquake-Proof Buildings For Government 'Continuity'

Northwest News Network | March 9, 2017 5:45 p.m.

An Oregon agency is proposing two new earthquake proof buildings near the state Capitol in Salem to ensure government continuity after a magnitude 9 offshore megaquake.

local | News

Airline Pilots Report Drone Sightings On SeaTac And PDX Airport Approaches

Northwest News Network | March 3, 2017 5:21 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration says reports of unsafe flying by civilian drones "have increased dramatically" over the past two years.

local | News

Guatemala Expels 'Abortion Ship' Activists From Washington State

Northwest News Network | March 2, 2017 6:15 p.m.

A Washington couple and several other international activists narrowly avoided arrest during a maritime abortion rights protest in the waters off Guatemala.

Business | local | News

Unusual Fog Clearing Apparatus Keeps Airline Passengers Moving

Northwest News Network | March 2, 2017 9:15 a.m.

When Mother Nature throws travelers a curve ball and freezing fog descends over the airport in Medford, Oregon, it can delay takeoffs and landings.

local | NW Life | News

Lawmakers Move To Revive Plan To Replace I-5 Bridge Over Columbia River

Northwest News Network | Feb. 21, 2017 6:15 p.m.

Washington state lawmakers could take preliminary votes to revive plans to replace the aging Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River.

History | local | News

Shipwreck Hunters Pursue 'Holy Grails' Of West Coast Wrecks

Northwest News Network | Feb. 18, 2017 8:30 a.m.

Shipwrecks along the Pacific Northwest coast number in the thousands. A handful have become the long-running obsessions of a cadre of shipwreck buffs.