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.

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.

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers in the Washington legislature launched a move Tuesday to ban powdered alcohol.

According to the monthly update released Wednesday by Washington's Employment Security Department, the state’s unemployment rate stayed flat in February.

Some legislators in Olympia say they're having second thoughts about exempting Western Hockey League teams from state labor laws.

If you ride a bicycle or motorcycle, this has no doubt happened to you: You stop at a red light controlled by a sensor in the pavement and you wait... and wait.

The United Steelworkers union and major oil refiners have reached a tentative contract settlement.

The daffodils and tulips are up and so are hungry black bears. Our unseasonably mild winter is bringing black bears out of hibernation earlier than usual.

Oregon and Washington lawmakers flinched within hours of each other Wednesday when it came to toughening mandatory vaccination requirements for schoolchildren.

A new statistic from Washington state illustrates a problem 911 dispatch centers throughout the Northwest grapple with. About a third of 911 calls in Washington state are mistaken.

When temperatures rise this spring, you're bound to hear the occasional sad tale of a dog locked in a hot car in the sun.

Thousands of people are expected to start long distance treks on the Pacific Crest Trail this year.

The congressional wrangling over immigration policy -- which threatens to cut off Homeland Security money later this week -- is spilling over to the Washington State Capitol in a fashion.

New ownership is giving new hope to a decrepit, unseaworthy fishing boat with a notable literary pedigree.

In Olympia, legislative budget writers got a shot of good news Friday regarding tax collections.

The sun rose and then quickly set again on a proposal by some state legislators to abolish daylight saving time in Washington state.

The cutterhead on Seattle's troubled tunnel boring machine broke through the wall of a rescue pit at midday Thursday.

Legislative moves to limit school immunization exemptions are drawing vocal opposition from some parents. Opponents of mandatory vaccination crowded a public hearing at the state capitol in Olympia Tuesday, and the scene could repeat itself in Salem Wednesday.

Amazon.com provided a rare look Friday inside one of its gigantic, high tech warehouses.

The worsening labor dispute at West Coast container ports is causing shippers to search for alternate pathways to and from Asia.

Eleven packs of wolves have recolonized northeastern Washington. Now besieged politicians from that area are seriously proposing to relocate some of those protected wolves to western and southwestern Washington, where there are none.

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