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.

Pages

Transportation
3:03 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Barges Running Aground At Lewiston As Dredging Controversy Drags On

Lewiston's port hugs the left bank of this aerial view of the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. Clarkston is at lower right.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Lewiston, Idaho has had unusual bragging rights for the past 40 years. It's the farthest inland seaport on the West Coast -- 465 miles upriver from the Pacific Ocean.

Read more
Environment and Planning
8:06 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Prison Inmates Enlisted To Grow Threatened Plants

Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem is growing Kincaid's Lupine and Golden Paintbrush, flowers relied upon by the rare Fender's Blue and Taylor's Checkerspot butterflies.
Captain Chad Naugle ODOC

In a growing number of Northwest prisons, inmates are rearing endangered plants, butterflies, turtles and frogs for release in the wild.

Read more
Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor
3:14 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Why The Unemployment Rate Rises When Companies Are Adding Jobs

The unemployment rate in Washington state ticked up 0.3 percent in October.
Washington Employment Security Department

Employers added more 5,600 jobs in Washington state last month. But the unemployment rate as reported by the state Wednesday rose by 0.3 points to 6 percent.

Read more
Science and Technology
3:19 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

FAA Takes Light Hand In Enforcing Flight Rules For Drones

A fleet of drones used for aerial photography by Portland-based Skyris Imaging
Credit Skyris Imaging

Commercial drones are taking to the Northwest skies even though the rules aren't clear.

Read more
Transportation
3:05 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Delta Air Lines Resets Bar Higher For Pacific Northwest Hub

Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines are partners - and rivals - at Sea-Tac Airport.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson said his company wants to nearly double its footprint at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Read more
Science and Technology
4:06 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

State Drone Regulations Not Cleared For Liftoff In Olympia

File photo of an Aeryon Scout UAV in flight
Credit Dkroetsch / Wikimedia

The Washington governor's office unveiled draft rules for government use of drones Monday. It would replace legislation that Democrat Jay Inslee vetoed earlier this year.

Read more
Science and Technology
7:54 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Traces Of Fukushima Radioactivity Detected In West Coast Waters

File photo of the Oregon coast at Lincoln City. Seawater samples taken directly at the shore along the Oregon and Washington coasts this year have all tested negative for traces of Fukushima radiation.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute announced Monday that trace amounts of radioactivity from Fukushima have been detected off the West Coast.

Read more
Environment and Planning
6:06 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Timber Salvage After 2014 Wildfires Begins In Fits And Starts

A small amount of salvage logging took place in 2014 along roads and around a campground in the Mount Adams Ranger District after the 2012 Cascade Creek wildfire.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Wildfires scorched nearly 1.5 million acres in Oregon, Washington and Idaho this year. And with increased demand for timber from lumber mills, there is a growing market for scorched trees.

Read more
Crime, Law and Justice
8:15 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Death Of Child Thrown Off Bridge Renews Attention On Fencing

File photo of Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport, Oregon.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A woman from the central Oregon Coast was arraigned in Lincoln County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon on charges of murder and manslaughter in the death of her son.

Read more
Food, Agriculture, and Animals
4:38 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Northwest Tribes Take Steps To Corral Growing Wild Horse Population

Horses in the road are a real danger on the Warm Springs reservation.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Growing populations of wild horses in the inland Northwest are creating headaches for federal land managers. Wild and feral horse herds overrun tribal lands in our region too.

Read more

Pages