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

Tom Banse / NW News Network

A quartet of young companies from the Seattle area have raised tens of millions of dollars by tapping into a hot tech trend. They've invented new virtual currencies and sold digital coins to the public.

These token sales are largely unregulated and are sparking increasingly frequent government warnings.

U.S. Olympic Committee

Two more Pacific Northwest athletes are heading to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

If you’re considering buying an electric car in Oregon or Washington, you might want to pay attention to possible changes in tax policy. There’s uncertainty about the tax incentives meant to spur electric car sales.

Sam Michener

The U.S. Olympic bobsled team will be named on Monday—and there is a good chance there will be a Pacific Northwest athlete on the team. That’s unusual because the only World Cup-class bobsled track in the Western U.S. is in Utah.

Washington State Patrol

Amtrak's CEO has given Oregon and Washington state officials a timeline for when the company will activate automatic safety braking systems in the Pacific Northwest. This is the technology many experts believe could have prevented last month's deadly train derailment south of Tacoma.

Cecilia Goetz was driving to work on the Monday before Christmas when a speeding Amtrak passenger train came flying off the rails above her. As part of that train crashed onto the rear of her vehicle, she thought she might die. Now she’s one of a growing number of crash survivors who have filed lawsuits against Amtrak.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is following the lead of American Airlines, Southwest and dozens of other large companies in awarding $1,000 bonuses to its workers tied to the recently passed corporate tax cut.

Cody Downard Photography/USSA

Fractured bones, busted knees and concussions are just a few of the job hazards for professional ski racers. Olympians Tommy Ford and Laurenne Ross of Bend, Oregon, have had their share of spectacular crashes.

They've each bounced back from potentially career-ending injuries to compete this winter for spots on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team.

Government Accountability Office

A preliminary federal crash report says an automatic safety braking system could have prevented last month's deadly Amtrak derailment near Tacoma, Washington.

Three people died and more than 60 were seriously injured when an Amtrak train going from Seattle to Portland on its inaugural passenger run along a new, faster route took a curve way too fast and hurtled from an overpass onto Interstate 5 below. 


Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

A conductor who was at the front of the Amtrak train that derailed north of Olympia is alleging in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that the crew received inadequate training.  
An injured passenger made similar claims in a separate lawsuit filed hours later.

The December derailment killed three people, seriously injured scores more and closed southbound Interstate 5 for two-and-a-half days. 

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