Tom Banse

Regional Reporter

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. During the early 1990s, he worked in the Seattle bureau of United Press International. 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. In 1996, he spent two months reporting from Bonn and Berlin, Germany on an Arthur F. Burns Fellowship. In 1999, he traversed the globe to cover the Pacific Rim (Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan) on a Jefferson Fellowship.

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.

An Anchorage-based commuter airline is opening a new hub in Portland. Peninsula Airways, better known as PenAir, is a well-established Alaska carrier that only recently branched out to the Lower 48.

Seven Pacific Northwest veterans of World War II leave for Tokyo Thursday. They're carrying 70 captured Japanese flags to return for the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.

The biggest crowd to ever watch a National Women's Soccer League match filled Providence Park in downtown Portland  Wednesday evening. More than 21,000 fans saw the Seattle Reign defeat the home team Portland Thorns 1-0.

Most firefighters arrive on the scene of a wildfire with their own gear. But if they face an extended fight, they need a source for replenishment and surge support when a fire camp scales up.

Washington, Idaho and Oregon have all placed in the top ten nationally for job growth over the past year.

A north central Washington hospital has discharged a Bellingham girl who emerged from the woods alive two days after a plane crash.

In a newly released 911 recording, the teenage girl who walked away from a mountainside plane crash reported she was the only one to make it out alive.

A sixteen-year-old girl from Bellingham, Washington, walked out of the woods Monday afternoon -- two days after surviving a small plane crash in the North Cascades.

The window of opportunity to prevent grave ecological damage to our oceans from climate change is closing. That's according to a paper appearing Friday in the journal Science.

Would you let your smartphone share your location if it meant that one day you could come to a stranger's rescue?

Sales of expensive electric cars are getting a jolt from the impending expiration of a sales tax incentive in Washington state. It goes away June 30.

The Washington National Guard -- joined by officers from Oregon and Idaho -- are preparing for a massive military relief effort.

All signs are pointing to a strong El Niño developing by this fall according to an update from the National Weather Service Thursday.

They say there's nothing more boring than watching grass grow. But cultivating immaculate grass is a serious, intense and fascinating business when you work at the golf course that will stage the first U.S. Open championship in the Northwest.

There's a process in place now for Indian tribes and the state of Washington to jointly regulate marijuana should any tribes choose to legalize and sell it.

The call of the open road beckons to electric car owners now that Washington and Oregon have completed their portions of the West Coast Electric Highway, a network of rapid recharging stations to enable long distance electric-powered travel.

Pouches of alcohol in granular or powder form will not appear in Washington stores, nor at this rate in Oregon either.

Of all the things you're considering for your next meal today, bugs are probably not on the menu.

The West Coast Electric Highway is a network of fast-charging stations for electric vehicles that runs all the way from Vancouver, Canada, to the California border. Oregon completed its section of the electric highway this month, with the installation of a charging station at a Fred Meyer store in Brookings, near the California border.

When reporter Tom Banse heard that, he rented a Nissan LEAF and drove the length of Oregon to try out the electric highway.

OPB’s All Things Considered host Kate Davidson called him on the road.

Hut-to-hut or village-to-village trekking is a popular vacation pursuit in regions as diverse as Europe, New Zealand, the Himalayas and Vietnam.

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