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.


Crime, Law and Justice
4:18 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Washington Animal Cruelty Law Could Be Enhanced To Cover Pets in Hot Cars

File photo. Police and animal control officers in Washington may soon get explicit license to break into cars to rescue animals in distress.
Lynn Friedman Flickr

When temperatures rise this spring, you're bound to hear the occasional sad tale of a dog locked in a hot car in the sun.

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Lifestyle, Leisure, and Sport
9:29 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Surge In Long Distance Hiking Spurs Interest In Creating New Trails

A stretch of the Bigfoot Trail in the Red Buttes Wilderness near the Oregon-California border.
Michael Kauffmann

Thousands of people are expected to start long distance treks on the Pacific Crest Trail this year.

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Crime, Law and Justice
5:27 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Immigrant Deportation Debate Spills Over To State Capitol

A bill in the Washington House would direct local police and jails to stop coordinating with federal agencies on immigrant deportations.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The congressional wrangling over immigration policy -- which threatens to cut off Homeland Security money later this week -- is spilling over to the Washington State Capitol in a fashion.

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History and Culture
3:44 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Steinbeck Vessel To Be Refloated By New Owner And Northwest Shipwrights

The Western Flyer currently rests in dry storage at the Port of Port Townsend as seen in this 2013 photo.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

New ownership is giving new hope to a decrepit, unseaworthy fishing boat with a notable literary pedigree.

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Government and Politics
3:05 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Higher Tax Collections Lowers Pressure On Washington Lawmakers To Raise Revenue

File photo of the Legislative Building on the Washington State Capitol campus in Olympia.
Tradnor Wikimedia

In Olympia, legislative budget writers got a shot of good news Friday regarding tax collections.

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Government and Politics
4:11 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Time Expires On Bill To Abolish Daylight Saving Time In Washington

Alexander T Carroll Wikimedia

The sun rose and then quickly set again on a proposal by some state legislators to abolish daylight saving time in Washington state.

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3:31 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Highway Tunneling Machine Bertha Breaks Into Rescue Pit

File photo of Bertha's 57.5-foot-diameter cutterhead.
WSDOT Flickr

The cutterhead on Seattle's troubled tunnel boring machine broke through the wall of a rescue pit at midday Thursday.

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Crime, Law and Justice
8:12 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Judge Rules Richland Florist Who Refused Gay Wedding Broke Law

Florist Barronelle Stutzman vowed to appeal a court ruling that forces her Richland shop to serve gay couples.
Alliance Defending Freedom

A judge in Benton County, Washington, has ruled that a flower shop in the Tri-Cities broke the law when it refused to serve a gay couple planning a wedding two years ago.

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Health and Medicine
3:15 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Move To Limit Vaccine Exemptions Draws Opposition From Some Parents

Opponents of mandatory vaccination testify to the state House Health Care Committee in Olympia Tuesday.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Legislative moves to limit school immunization exemptions are drawing vocal opposition from some parents. Opponents of mandatory vaccination crowded a public hearing at the state capitol in Olympia Tuesday, and the scene could repeat itself in Salem Wednesday.

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Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor
5:38 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Robots Do The Walking, Lifting At High-Tech Warehouse

"Amazonians," the nickname for fulfillment center workers, performing packing and loading chores, which they can do better than robots.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network provided a rare look Friday inside one of its gigantic, high tech warehouses.

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