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.

The new federal budget sent to the president's desk over the weekend includes $5 million for earthquake early warning along the West Coast. With this funding, an alert system should begin to roll out regionally next year.

The Yakama Nation and neighboring tribes are strongly objecting to a Congressional move to offer public access to the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain, a place tribal members consider sacred.

A new letter from Amazon to the Federal Aviation Administration indicates the e-commerce giant is getting frustrated with the wait for approval to test package delivery drones.

New data from the FAA shows the frequency of close calls between manned aircraft and small drones is soaring.

Judging from holiday advertising, lots of teenagers and grownups will find a drone under the Christmas tree this year. But the increasing affordability and popularity of remotely piloted airplanes and choppers is leading to conflict in Northwest skies.

In a growing number of Northwest prisons, inmates are rearing endangered plants, butterflies, turtles and frogs for release in the wild.

Lewiston, Idaho has had unusual bragging rights for the past 40 years. It's the farthest inland seaport on the West Coast -- 465 miles upriver from the Pacific Ocean.

Commercial drones are taking to the Northwest skies even though the rules aren't clear.

Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson said his company wants to nearly double its footprint at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The Washington governor's office unveiled draft rules for government use of drones Monday. It would replace legislation that Democrat Jay Inslee vetoed earlier this year.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute announced Monday that trace amounts of radioactivity from Fukushima have been detected off the West Coast.

More swimmers in the Northwest are trading the comfort of the pool for a workout in open water.

Wildfires scorched nearly 1.5 million acres in Oregon, Washington and Idaho this year. And with increased demand for timber from lumber mills, there is a growing market for scorched trees.

A woman from the central Oregon Coast was arraigned in Lincoln County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon on charges of murder and manslaughter in the death of her son.

Growing populations of wild horses in the inland Northwest are creating headaches for federal land managers. Wild and feral horse herds overrun tribal lands in our region too.

An Oregon chef is asking if you have the guts to celebrate World Tripe Day on Friday.

The long-range weather outlook from the Climate Prediction Center gives high probabilities for a warmer and drier than average winter across the Northwest.

From a temperature standpoint, autumn is off to an unusually mild start across the Northwest.

Job growth stalled during September in Oregon and Washington according to new numbers from the respective state employment departments.

The old saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words." That was the reaction of a U.S. Forest Service researcher when he rediscovered a trove of landscape panoramas called the Osborne Panoramas.

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