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 where there are no radios.

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NPR Story
8:06 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Winter Games Downright Spring-Like, But Still 'Super Fun' For Northwest Nordic Skiers

Former Sun Valley skier Simi Hamilton competes in the skate sprint Tuesday.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Ski Team

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 10:10 am

It's so warm in the mountains above Sochi that U.S. Olympic cross country skiers are going sleeveless, hatless and gloveless.

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lots of action in the opening days
3:51 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Idaho Snowboarder Grabs Northwest's First 2014 Olympic Medal

USA snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington (center) of Bellevue, Idaho won gold in the women's halfpipe on Wednesday.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Snowboarding

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 10:26 am

The Northwest has its first Olympic gold medal from the 2014 Sochi Games. Snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington of Bellevue, Idaho triumphed in the women's halfpipe Wednesday.

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concerns about security
4:45 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Departing Northwest Olympians Confident They'll Be Safe In Sochi

File photo of the Roza Khutor Alpine Resort, site of the alpine skiing events for the Sochi Games.
Sergei Kazantsev Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:33 pm

The 2014 Winter Olympics begin next week amid persistent concerns about security.

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Washington and Oregon among the best sales markets
3:56 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Slow Uptake Of Electric Cars Prompts Calls To Extend Washington Tax Break

Nissan Leafs charge on the Washington state capitol campus Tuesday.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 3:48 pm

The slow uptake of electric cars by Northwest drivers is prompting calls to extend a tax break in Washington state for new vehicles powered by alternative fuels.

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20 names with ties to this region
2:56 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Big Crop Of Northwest Olympians Headed To Sochi Games

The 2014 U.S. Olympic Team has a Northwest flavor, including these Nordic skiers, Sadie Bjornsen (3rd from R), Erik Bjornsen (5th from R), Holly Brooks (5th from L) and Simi Hamilton (2nd from L).
Sarah Brunson U.S. Ski Team

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 11:10 am

Athletes headed to the Winter Games from Oregon, Idaho and Washington run the gamut from Olympic rookies to medal-draped veterans.

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Cool Runnings
4:56 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

Northwest Ski Towns Stock Olympic Teams Well Beyond USA

Both Olympic hopefuls racing for the U.S. Virgin Islands have Sun Valley ties. Jasmine Campbell (on left) is most likely to receive the one slot in Sochi allocated to the U.S territory. Sun Valley Ski Academy graduate (2013) Veronica Gaspar on right.
John Campbell

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 9:32 am

Next month, Sochi, Russia will host athletes from more than 85 nations at the Winter Olympics. Some of those countries might surprise you. They get no snow or have no mountains.

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Sports
7:24 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Bend Ski Coach Guides Caribbean Island To First Winter Games

Gary and Angelica Morrone di Silvestri will be skiing for Dominica in Sochi.
Gay Di Silvestri

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 7:25 am

The Northwest contribution to the U.S. Olympic team goes beyond athletes. A bunch of top coaches, ski tuners, wax technicians and physical therapists from here are Sochi-bound too.

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Winter Olympics in Russia next month
3:25 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

U.S. Olympic Nordic Team Stacked With Northwest Skiers

U.S. Nordic Olympic team member Erik Bjornsen of Mazama, Wash. demonstrated a finishing lunge for a Methow Valley youngster in December.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 8:51 pm

It's looking more and more like Northwest athletes will be unusually well represented at the Winter Olympics in Russia next month. The U.S. Olympic Nordic team was named Wednesday.

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2014 Winter Olympics
3:20 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Washington Man's Olympic Dream: Making Snow In Sochi

Wenatchee's Jon Wax climbs a snow making tower to perform maintenance ahead of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In the background is the finish line for downhill ski racing at the Rosa Khutor venue.
Sam Morrison

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:40 am

Winter Olympic hopefuls from the Northwest are learning this month who will get to go to the Sochi Games next month. One snow making expert from Washington state is already there.

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Olympic Locals
7:56 am
Tue January 21, 2014

More Northwest Athletes Qualify For Sochi Olympics

Angeli VanLaanen of Bellingham was named to the U.S. Olympic Team in ski halfpipe.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Freeskiing

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:32 am

It's not just the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl that will make for an exciting February for Northwest sports fans. The Winter Olympics start mere days later.

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