Tom Banse

Regional Correspondent

Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from 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 found online and heard on-air 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.  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.

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.

Ways to Connect

Cricket Flours

A food industry startup from Oregon is ready to sell you something completely different for your mid-morning snack. How about some roasted crickets in cayenne spice or original flavor?

James Brooks/Flickr

Exporters are bracing for ocean freight price increases due to the collapse of Hanjin Shipping, one of the trans-Pacific lines serving the Northwest. Meanwhile, sailors and cargo are marooned on container ships in Northwest waters.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Some Northwest cities, counties and private developers are going beyond the minimums in the state building codes to reduce wildfire risk. They're banning shingle roofs and requiring fire-resistant siding. They're also making homeowners mind their landscaping.

Orin Blomberg / Flickr - tinyurl.com/zr637om

Researchers from the University of Washington and NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center found the opposite of what they expected when they used a new scientific method to sample the waters of Puget Sound.

Foo Conner / Flickr - tinyurl.com/jadusx7

Washington state policymakers wrestled for much of the day Monday whether and how to regulate self-driving cars. Until now, major automakers and technology companies have successfully convinced Northwest states to hold off so there aren't 50 states with differing standards.

JSSWA Washington National Guard / Flickr - tinyurl.com/hr62ymx

A South Puget Sound city has joined the fray over athletes protesting during the national anthem. The mayor of DuPont, Washington, scrubbed a planned Seahawks pep rally Saturday ahead of the Seattle team's home opener.

Fiona Martin / NOAA Climate.gov

What kind of weather might the Northwest be in for this fall and winter? Well, one meaningful clue came when federal forecasters at the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center Thursday dropped their "La Niña Watch.”

Campaign photo / johnsonweld.com

Neither Oregon nor Washington are presidential election battleground states, so the region's TV viewers have been spared the attendant barrage of campaign commercials. But now the Libertarian presidential ticket is going on the air.

File photo/USFWS

The remaining members of a wolf pack in northeastern Washington targeted for extermination by the state are playing hard to get. Late Friday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife pinned another dead calf on the Profanity Peak pack, but disclosed it was unsuccessful in hunting down any of the pack's five surviving members this past week.

Richard Bittles / USOC

Fresh off the Olympic Games, Brazil now hosts the Paralympic Games. Athletes from the Northwest are packing up this week to fly south to compete in sports such as wheelchair rugby, sitting volleyball -- and goalball.

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