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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

local | Business | News

BP Sends Checks To Many Who Bought Gas In Oregon Before 2014 Settlement

Nearly 2 million people got mysterious, unbidden $91.94 checks in the mail recently. They're the result of a 2014 settlement payout from a case involving Oregon's unlawful trade practices law.

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

Judge Strikes Down San Juan Islands Ballot Measure On Whale Watching Distance Rules

Whale watch tour companies have knocked a proposed orca protection initiative off the November ballot in San Juan County, Washington.

NW Life | local

Photo Sleuthing By Northwest Man Backs Up New Amelia Earhart Search

Photo analysis by a forensic imaging expert from suburban Seattle is backing up a new search for the pioneer aviator Amelia Earhart.

local | Environment | News

NW 'Humpback Comeback' Excites Whale Watchers As Researchers Study Surge

Humpback whales are resurfacing in big numbers in Northwest waters. Along with excitement over the humpbacks' return comes concern about ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.

Pacific Ocean | local | News | Fish & Wildlife | Climate change | Animals | Environment | Water

Rare Sighting Of Blue Whales Off The Washington Coast

A whale expert is reporting a rare sighting of blue whales off the Washington coast. The largest animals on the planet have also been sighted in unusual numbers offshore of Oregon this summer.

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

Rescuers Free Humpback Whale From Fishing Gear Off Washington Coast

A badly entangled whale is swimming free again after a dramatic rescue off the Washington coast last week.

local | Environment | News | Food

Get Out The Sauté Pan: Fall Mushroom Season Starting Early In Pacific Northwest

Pacific Northwesterners who forage for wild mushrooms are noticing that the late summer and fall delicacies are coming in early this year.

local | Education | Recreation | News | Health | Environment

Feeling Ill? A Walk In The Park Is Just What The Doctor Ordered.

Dozens of Pacific Northwest doctors are teaming up with a national nonprofit to write a different kind of prescription. Their "park prescriptions" direct patients to spend more time outside.

Pacific Ocean | local | Education | News | Food | Fish & Wildlife | Science | Agriculture | Business | Environment | Water

The Dream Of A Viable Bacon-Like Seaweed Is Still Alive In Oregon

Four years after OSU shook the internet with its discovery of "a seaweed that tastes like bacon," the hard work of commercialization continues, but guilt-free bacon from the sea remains elusive.

Entertainment | Animals

'Hero Rats' Arrive At Tacoma Zoo. Their Relatives Are Still Saving Lives.

Giant rats sound like something to be scared of, perhaps. But the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, thinks quite the opposite.

local | Environment | News | Animals

Nonprofit Looks To San Juan Islands For Retired Captive Orca Sanctuary

An environmental nonprofit is gauging interest in the creation of an orca enclosure in Washington's San Juan Islands.

NW Life | local | Environment | Recreation | News

Efforts Aim To Stitch Together West Coast Hiking Trails

Long-distance hiking can be the experience of a lifetime. It also can present dicey to mundane hurdles, like having to hike stretches along busy highways or logging roads.

local | News

Washington State Patrol Builds Up Fleet Of 111 Drones

In the span of just a few years, the Washington State Patrol has built up a fleet of more than 100 drones.

local | Environment | Education | News

'Kits For Kids' Take Preparedness Up A Notch At Tsunami-Vulnerable Cannon Beach Academy

How's this for emergency preparedness? An elementary school located in the tsunami inundation zone in Cannon Beach, Oregon, has equipped every student with a personal disaster survival kit.

Transportation | local | Business | News | Technology

Undeliverable Boeing 737 Max Jets Spill Over To Central Washington For Storage

Boeing is running out of space to park grounded 737 Max jets in the Puget Sound region and is now sending some of its Renton, Washington, factory output to Moses Lake's spacious airport.

local | Environment | News

Washington Has More Dead Whales Than It Knows What To Do With

NOAA Fisheries put out the call Friday for waterfront property owners who wouldn't mind having a dead whale dropped off on their beach to decompose naturally.

Education | News | Agriculture | local | Science | Environment

OSU Establishes New Hemp Research Center In Hopes Of Becoming Global Hub

Oregon State University is delving into hemp big time in the wake of congressional action last year to legalize the crop nationally. The university's new hemp research center involves 40 faculty members. 

local | News | Transportation | Fish & Wildlife | Animals | Environment

Cormorants Have Taken Up Residence On The Astoria-Megler Bridge, Where They're Unwanted

The abundance of double-crested cormorants resting on the Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River can be hard for the average onlooker or motorist to appreciate. But the birds' population has boomed in recent years.

NW Life | Science | local | Business | News

Lab-Created Diamonds Coming To North-Central Washington

A contract signed Thursday for Columbia River hydropower clears the way for a foundry to make lab-created diamonds in Wenatchee, Washington.

local | Environment | News | Unprepared: Will We Be Ready For The Megaquake In Oregon?

Navy Hovercraft Could Be Hulking Lifesavers After 'The Big One' Hits

People visiting or living along the Pacific Northwest coast may be completely cut off after "The Big One" — the feared magnitude 9.0 Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. For that reason, the U.S. Navy has been scouting landing sites along the coast for disaster relief delivery by sea.