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.

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Oregon Wave Project
8:10 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Submerged Wave Energy Generator On Track For Deployment Near Astoria

Computer rendition of the wave energy generator to be placed on the Clatsop County, Oregon, sea floor late this summer.

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 11:58 am

An engineering company based in Salem, Oregon, says it is close to deploying the first submerged wave power generator on the West Coast. M3 Wave Energy Systems plans a temporary deployment late this summer in shallow water off the northern Oregon Coast.

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devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan
3:46 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

New Wave of Suspected Tsunami Debris Washes Ashore

This skiff - suspected Japanese tsunami debris - was found Thursday near Moclips, Washington.

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:16 pm

A new wave of suspected debris from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan is washing up on Northwest shores. The latest noteworthy object to arrive, a large skiff coated with sea life, was found Thursday near Moclips, Washington.

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NPR Story
5:27 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Long, Warm Summer On Tap According To Weather Service Outlook

National Weather Service is forecasting a strong probability of above-normal temperatures in June, July and August for most of the Northwest.

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 4:28 pm

The supercomputers at the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center have crunched long-term trends to produce an outlook for June, July and August. For most of the Northwest, the forecast gives a strong probability of above-normal temperatures.

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charged for allegedly feeding bears
4:10 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Bear-Feeding Case Will Go To Court In A First For Washington

Accused bear feeder Doris Parks created a nine-acre wildlife reserve by buying undeveloped land across the street from her house in Ilwaco, Washington.

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 8:21 pm

A 70-year-old Ilwaco, Washington, woman has been criminally charged for allegedly feeding bears at her house on Washington's Long Beach peninsula. It is believed to be the first time someone has been prosecuted under a relatively new law against feeding large wild carnivores.

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Keeping Culture Alive
5:37 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Gathering The Stories Of Northwest People 'Left Out' Of History

Author LLyn De Danaan at home in Mason County, Washington.

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 4:41 pm

It started with the discovery of long-forgotten gravestones in a thicket of bramble and alder. That set one author on the faint trail of a feisty Native American woman and oyster farmer who lived in 19th century western Washington.

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deadly landslide near Oso, Washington
3:38 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Landslide Tragedy Prompts Board To 'Take Stock' Of Logging Rules Around Unstable Slopes

The Washington Forest Practices Board heard presentations on the Oso landslide and landslide risk more generally from geologists and Oso survivors Monday.

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:04 pm

Washington state Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark repeated Monday that "It's still too early to tell" if there is a connection between logging and this spring's deadly landslide near Oso, Washington.

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legendary champion of tribal treaty rights
3:48 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Tribal Treaty Rights Champion Billy Frank Jr. Dead At Age 83

Billy Frank Jr. at the Elwha Dam removal ceremony in 2011.
Katie Campbell KCTS

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:56 am

 Billy Frank Jr., a legendary champion of tribal treaty rights and Northwest salmon restoration, died Monday. He was 83 years old.

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magma is on the rise
3:42 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Magma Rising Beneath Mount St. Helens, But No Eruption Imminent

File photo of Mount St. Helens

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 5:22 pm

Scientists monitoring Mount St. Helens confirmed Wednesday that magma is on the rise and "re-pressurizing" the volcano in southwest Washington.

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it is not too late to say thank you
3:17 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Japanese Retrace Path Of History-Making Castaways, 180 Years Later

File photo of the 'Monument to the Three Kichis,' at Fort Vancouver, Washington.
nsub1 Flickr

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 5:48 pm

After 180 years, it is not too late to say thank you. That is what a Japanese delegation did last week as it retraced the history-making path of three  castaways to the Makah Indian Reservation on the Washington coast.

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blocked migratory fish
3:43 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Tribes Optimistic About Returning Salmon To Upper Columbia Basin

File photo. An aerial view of Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River, the border between Oregon and Idaho.

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:32 pm

Hydropower dams built without fish ladders have blocked migratory fish from the upper reaches of the Columbia and Snake Rivers for decades.

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