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.

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Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Plant breeders, Northwest chefs and farmers are co-developing innovative new vegetables and grains. The bounty was sampled a tasting party in Portland Monday night.

Washington State Legislature

A Washington state lawmaker who has been trying to make paid family leave available to all workers said a new federal grant will be a big help. 

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The state employment departments in Oregon and Washington are organizing 'rapid response' teams to help nearly 1,000 grocery workers facing mass layoff.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Software giant Microsoft had several chances Wednesday to impress Chinese leaders with the company's vision of a "free and open" Internet.

REC Silicon

Solar company REC Silicon Tuesday warned of big layoffs at a factory in central Washington if a trade dispute between the U.S. and China drags on much longer.
Walter Siegmund / Wikimedia Commons

The administration of Washington Governor Jay Inslee has officially begun a rulemaking to cap greenhouse gas pollution from large industrial sources. Inslee is flexing his executive powers to bypass the state legislature, which has repeatedly chosen not to put a price on carbon.

APEC 2013 / Flickr

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with titans of Northwest commerce Tuesday and Wednesday on their home turf: Think Boeing, Starbucks, Microsoft and Amazon.

Lawrence Jackson / White House

Chinese President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to the U.S. next week. The first item on the itinerary is a two-day stopover in western Washington.

Washington Employment Security Department

The state unemployment rate in Washington and Oregon was falling at a steady pace in recent years. But lately it's stuck.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Over the weekend, vampires were afoot in a small town on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Fans of a bestselling teen vampire romance series flooded into the town of Forks from all over the country.