Tom Banse

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," "Weekday," 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.

The Federal Aviation Administration has recently granted clearance for takeoff to big batches of commercial drone operators.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is in the midst of his second tour in less than a year to drum up support to export coal through the Northwest.

Freight railroads in the Northwest appear unlikely to meet an end-of-the-year deadline to install the type of system safety regulators say could have prevented Tuesday's deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia.

A souped-up paddle board, custom rowing craft and high performance, carbon fiber sailboats are just some of the eye-catching entries in the inaugural Race to Alaska.

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.

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 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.

When a 16-year-old student fired shots at North Thurston High School Monday morning, Lacey, Washington, Police Commander Jim Mack said an armed officer assigned to the school was nearby and ran toward the noise.

Spring planting season is coming early this year for a lot of home gardeners. And this year some Pacific Northwest nurseries are getting familiar with the flavors of the Caribbean.

Starting next month, Alaska Airlines will explore charging extra for main cabin seats with more legroom and creature comforts.

A wide majority of the Washington Legislature voted to raise the maximum speed limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Friday significantly expanded a drought declaration due to dwindling snowpack.

So far, few Northwest Democrats are getting on board with a deal to "fast track" a pending Pacific trade agreement, The Trans-Pacific Partnership.

An audacious proposal to revive the Columbia River’s historic Celilo Falls drew heavy flak when it was aired at the Oregon Legislature Thursday.

On Thursday morning, embattled Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley called Democratic Governor Jay Inslee -- right around the time the U.S. Attorney’s office for Western Washington announced Kelley’s indictment.

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.

The Washington state House voted 91-7 Wednesday to exempt junior hockey teams from teen labor laws by expressly classifying the players as non-employees.

Oregon and Washington are close to joining neighboring states in specifically outlawing "revenge porn."

The recovery from the Great Recession has crossed a milestone in Washington state.

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