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.

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.

The U.S. Women's National Team coach has named four soccer pros from the Northwest to the World Cup roster Tuesday.

In California, March 31 is a legal holiday. Schools and government offices are closed for César Chávez Day.

There's money in a state highway budget that passed the Washington House Thursday to study a one-of-a-kind possible toll bridge fashioned out of retired Navy aircraft carriers.

Washington drivers might get to drive 75 on some rural highways.

Rural Oregon lawmakers say they want to get "up to speed" with neighboring states.

You know the beautiful, mass-produced tomatoes you can buy at the grocery store? You can drop one and it'll bounce back unharmed, but doesn't taste like much.

California Governor Jerry Brown ordered statewide mandatory water saving measures Wednesday. Water managers are preparing for drought in Oregon and Washington state as well.

Some aging veterans of World War II are embarking on one more mission. The object is to return Japanese flags taken as war souvenirs from Pacific battlefields.

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