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

Amanda Mills / USCDCP - bit.ly/1o4qkJj

The process for getting a new drug approved in the U.S. takes years. If you’re very sick, it can be incredibly frustrating to learn a potential cure is out there, but may not reach the market in time to save your life.

Office of the Governor

Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter is voicing skepticism that his fellow Republicans in the state legislature can both cut income taxes and do justice to public education. Otter made his remarks during a rare press Q and A in Boise Thursday.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter said he's concerned with the number of children who die because their parents choose faith healing instead of traditional medical care.

Kevin Mooney / Background image by Anna Fox, Flickr - bit.ly/1TcJSIC

The scrambled state of the presidential nominating contest makes it more likely that Northwest states will be relevant when our time comes to vote. That starts in less than four weeks with the Idaho Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, March 8.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Republicans in the Idaho and Washington legislatures want to block any more cities from going the path of Seattle and Tacoma in raising the minimum wage locally. In Boise Tuesday, a House committee introduced a state preemption bill.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The privatization of retail liquor sales in Washington state has delivered a sustained boost to the state liquor divisions in neighboring Idaho and Oregon.

Colville Tribes Fish & Wildlife

The fastest land mammal in North America is again running free in north central Washington after a long absence. In late January, the Colville Tribes relocated 52 pronghorn antelope onto their reservation as part of a reintroduction effort.

Kevin Mooney / Background image by Ingrid Barrentine, U.S. Army

A few short months from now, federal and state foresters around the West will purposely set controlled burns to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires later. This is a regular practice in Oregon, Idaho and California, but much less common in Washington state.

PNSN and Berkeley Seismological Laboratory

Federal agencies and university scientists are making progress on the deployment of an earthquake early warning system for the West Coast. That was one of the messages from a half-day earthquake preparedness summit hosted by the White House Tuesday.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

In Salem and Olympia, some lawmakers are looking for a middle way on raising the minimum wage. In both capitals, there's hope that a modest wage increase with business and labor support could head off or trump oncoming ballot measures.

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