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.

A historically strong El Niño is taking shape according to climatologists watching the Pacific Ocean. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said during a briefing Thursday that the current El Niño has the potential to develop into one of the most potent on record by late fall or early winter.

Depictions of possible poaching caused Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Police to investigate and then clear the History Channel reality TV show "The Woodsmen."

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.

Idaho fish and game regulators want there to be no doubt that hunters cannot use drones. In Oregon as well, lawmakers have tried to head off a fair chase issue before it rears its head.

The Obama administration set carbon dioxide limits for electric power plants Monday. The objective is to combat climate change by clamping down on power plant pollution, especially coal-fired electricity.

A pair of World War II veterans from the Pacific Northwest and their escorts will return 70 inscribed Japanese flags Tuesday directly to the prime minister of Japan.

The U.S. Postal Service has nixed a privately-funded campaign to turn a small town post office in central Washington into a major artistic attraction.

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.

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.

Pages