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.


Food, Agriculture, and Animals
3:52 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

A Taste Of The Caribbean In Your Own Backyard

The first flats ready for customers on the Grow Haiti project.
Log House Plants

Spring planting season is coming early this year for a lot of home gardeners. And this year some Pacific Northwest nurseries are getting familiar with the flavors of the Caribbean.

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2:59 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Alaska Airlines To Experiment With Premium Economy Seating

Alaska Airlines announced a 67 percent increase in net income in the first quarter of 2015.
Alaska Airlines

Starting next month, Alaska Airlines will explore charging extra for main cabin seats with more legroom and creature comforts.

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3:49 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Inslee Uses Veto To Slow Down 75-MPH Speed Limit

Washington Governor Jay Inslee vetoed a proposed increase in the highway speed limit from 70 to 75 mph.
countylemonade Flickr

A wide majority of the Washington Legislature voted to raise the maximum speed limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour.

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Weather and Climate
5:02 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Drought Declaration Expanded In Washington State, Coming Soon In Oregon

Washington Department of Ecology

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Friday significantly expanded a drought declaration due to dwindling snowpack.

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International Affairs
3:34 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Many Northwest Democrats Noncommittal On Fast-Tracking Trade Deals

File photo of the container ship Hanjin Hamburg at the Port of Seattle.
A McLin Flickr

So far, few Northwest Democrats are getting on board with a deal to "fast track" a pending Pacific trade agreement, The Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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History and Culture
5:38 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Proposal To Resurrect Columbia River's Celilo Falls Draws Flak

Dipnet fishing at Celilo Falls on the Columbia River around 1957.
US Army Corps of Engineers

An audacious proposal to revive the Columbia River’s historic Celilo Falls drew heavy flak when it was aired at the Oregon Legislature Thursday.

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Government and Politics
12:22 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Gov. Inslee Urges Indicted State Auditor To Resign

The U.S. Attorney's office for Western Washington announced Thursday morning that a federal grand jury has indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley.
Washington State Auditor's Office Facebook

On Thursday morning, embattled Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley called Democratic Governor Jay Inslee -- right around the time the U.S. Attorney’s office for Western Washington announced Kelley’s indictment.

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Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor
5:33 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Child Labor Exemption Approved To Keep Hockey Teams In Washington State

The Washington state House voted to exempt junior hockey teams from teen labor laws by expressly classifying the players as non-employees.
Scott Butner Flickr

The Washington state House voted 91-7 Wednesday to exempt junior hockey teams from teen labor laws by expressly classifying the players as non-employees.

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Crime, Law and Justice
3:49 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Washington Senate Votes To Criminalize 'Revenge Porn'

The Washington Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to criminalize ''revenge porn.''
Kevin Mooney Northwest News Network

Oregon and Washington are close to joining neighboring states in specifically outlawing "revenge porn."

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Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor
3:06 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Number Of Unemployed In Washington At Lowest Level Since Recession Began

Washington state's unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent in March.
photologue_np Flickr

The recovery from the Great Recession has crossed a milestone in Washington state.

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