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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

News | local

Coastal Beach Communities Brace For Fourth Of July Revelers — And Their Trash

A favorable weather forecast and the Fourth of July falling on a weekend has beach communities in the Pacific Northwest bracing for an onslaught despite the ongoing pandemic. 

News | Business | NW Life | local

Want A Really Big Houseboat? Former Washington Ferry May Head To Auction ... Again

A former state ferry now moored on the Olympia waterfront may be headed for auction for the third time in about three years, this time to remedy months of unpaid port bills.


As Washington Eases COVID-19 Limits, State Leaders Worry About The Final Phase

Washington state leaders are expressing hesitancy about opening the door to the final phase of the governor's four-phase reopening plan. 

News | Water | Animals | Environment | Fish & Wildlife | local | Science | Sustainability | Pacific Ocean

Good News For Sea Otter Fans: A Cost-benefit Analysis Encourages Oregon Return

A study of sea otter restoration in British Columbia is giving encouragement to a group that wants to bring sea otters back to the Oregon Coast.

News | local

Washington State Ferries To Stay On Reduced Schedule As Summer Begins

Washington state's ferry system, the largest in the country, will remain on a reduced service schedule through the normally busy summer season. 

News | Education | local

Now Showing At The Drive-in: Class Of 2020 High School Graduations

An iconic, but disappearing American institution -- the drive-in movie theater — came to the rescue of the senior classes in several Pacific Northwest communities this month.

News | Health | local

Impaired Driving Arrests Declined During Pandemic, Though You're Not Drinking Less

Citations for DUIs in Oregon and Washington dropped dramatically since the start of the pandemic. No, it's not because people were using less alcohol and marijuana.

Economy | Business | Politics | local | News

Frustrated By Unemployment Delays, Laid-off Workers In Washington Sue

Frustration with long delays in getting jobless benefits is boiling over into a lawsuit against the Washington State Employment Security Department.

Economy | Business | NW Life | local | News

Washington's Smallest Counties Will Lead Way Into Next Phase Of Reopening Economy

Nine rural counties in Washington are eligible to apply to the state Secretary of Health this week to move to the next stage in Gov. Jay Inslee's four-phase reopening plan. 

Economy | Business | NW Life | local | News

Tourist Lodgings Reopening Along Oregon And Washington Shores

Hotels and vacation rentals in coastal Oregon and Washington are ready to welcome back visitors after a roughly two month shutdown of tourist lodgings.

News | Business | Transportation | Energy | Environment | Technology | Renewable energy | local

All-electric Commuter Plane Begins Flight Testing In Moses Lake

A Cessna commuter plane retrofitted in Washington has taken the crown of the biggest all-electric airplane now flying.


Summer camp cancellations multiply, but some hold out hope for late start

The coronavirus is spreading a pandemic of disappointment among Pacific Northwest families and camp counselors via the widespread cancellation of...

News | History | Environment | NW Life | local | Land

Mount St. Helens Eruption 40th Anniversary Plans Move Online

There were once big plans for many public events to mark the 40th anniversary of the catastrophic 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. The coronavirus pandemic blew up those plans, but many are resurfacing online.


The Pandemic Gives PNW Whales A Break From The Din Of Underwater Noise

The coronavirus-induced lull in marine traffic may be short-lived, meaning researchers have to act fast to document if the quieter seas make happier, healthier whales.

Economy | Business | Health | local | News

Rural Washington Counties Seize Opportunity To Accelerate Reopening

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has come around to the idea of a county-by-county approach to relaxing the statewide stay-at-home order. Ten rural counties get to ask first to reopen at an accelerated pace. Those counties aren't wasting any time getting their plans submitted.

News | Environment | Health | local

Some Washington Parks To Reopen, But Coast, Gorge Excluded

More than 100 Washington state parks made the cut to reopen for day use beginning Tuesday, but aficionados of Pacific Coast and Columbia River Gorge getaways will have to wait a while longer.


Locals Only, Please. Reopening Of Some Washington State Parks Greeted By Concern

Outdoor enthusiasts in Washington may be looking forward to the reopening of many state parks and public lands next week. But a few of Washington's most popular state parks could stay closed because the surrounding communities are worried about crowds and renewed disease spread.

News | Economy | Technology | Education | local | Health

'Drive-By Wi-Fi': Hotspots Pop Up To Bridge Digital Divide

Distance learning, ordering groceries online or applying for unemployment, those are all kind of difficult without a good internet connection. So, at least five public utility districts in Washington are setting up drive-up Wi-Fi hotspots amid the coronavirus pandemic.

News | Health | local

A Washington Firefighter Recovering From COVID-19 Describes His Experience

More than 500 firefighters and EMTs in the Pacific Northwest have been temporarily quarantined after suspected exposure to the coronavirus over the past two months. South King Fire & Rescue Capt. Shane Smith is one of them. He tested positive.

News | Health | local

PNW First Responders Improvise In The Face Of COVID-19 Threat

Coronavirus risk and ongoing shortages of personal protective equipment are leading fire departments around the region to rediscover the enduring truth of the idiom "Necessity is the mother of invention."