Tom Banse

Regional Correspondent

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.

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Weather and Climate
2:57 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Unusually Mild Start To Autumn Across Northwest

This graphic shows the temperature departure from average for the past 30 days.
Credit Western Regional Climate Center

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

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Weather and Climate
3:37 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Long-Range Forecast Calls For Warmer, Drier Winter

Credit NOAA

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

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Lifestyle, Leisure, and Sport
9:16 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Chilly Water No Deterrent To Growing Numbers Of 'Wild Swimmers'

Swimmers enter the water for a mid-October, one mile "excursion" at Alki Beach in Seattle.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

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

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Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor
3:19 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Job Growth Stalls In Washington And Oregon During September

The unemployment rate in Washington rose one-tenth of a point to 5.7 percent in September.
Credit Washington Employment Security Department

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

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Crime, Law and Justice
4:20 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Washington State Police Push Back Against Limits On Drones

File photo of a drone hovering over a park in Wilsonville, Oregon.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Law enforcement groups in Washington state are pushing back against possible limits on police use of drones. That happened as a task force convened by Governor Jay Inslee wrestled some more Monday about how to regulate small unmanned aircraft.

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Environment and Planning
5:16 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Cross-time Photos From Northwest Lookouts Reveal Big Changes

John Marshall photographs the Cascade Creek burn on the slopes of Mount Adams.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

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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Science and Technology
3:24 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Military Drone Maker in Columbia River Gorge Sees Great Potential In Civil Uses

File photo of a ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle made by Insitu Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing.
Credit Boeing

Managers at Insitu, a military drone maker headquartered in Bingen, Washington, say they see great potential for civil and commercial uses for their best known aircraft.

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Science and Technology
2:49 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Amazon Asks FAA For Permission To Test Aerial Delivery Drones Near Seattle

Amazon.com has asked the FAA for permission to test drones outdoors.
Credit Amazon.com

When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled plans for aerial drone delivery of packages last year, many observers dismissed the concept as science fiction or pie-in-the-sky.

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Science and Technology
5:43 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Oregon, Washington Hope To Use Drones For Wildfire Recon In 2015

File photo of a ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle
Credit Boeing

Both Oregon and Washington’s state forestry departments had hoped to try out drones this summer to provide reconnaissance at wildfire scenes. But neither firefighting agency managed to pull it off. Now both plan to try again next year.

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Science and Technology
3:32 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Eastern Oregon Drone Test Range Chalks Up First Flight

First test flight on Pendleton UAS range utilized an Aeryon Scout quadcopter
Credit Peak3 Inc.

A drone test range in northeastern Oregon launched its first flight Tuesday.

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