Tom Banse

Regional Correspondent

Tom Banse covers business, environment, public policy, human interest and national news 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 heard 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. During the early 1990s, he worked in the Seattle bureau of United Press International. 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. In 1996, he spent two months reporting from Bonn and Berlin, Germany on an Arthur F. Burns Fellowship. In 1999, he traversed the globe to cover the Pacific Rim (Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan) on a Jefferson Fellowship.

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.

Pages

Science and Technology
3:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

USGS Tries Listening To Human Racket To Understand Seismic Hazards

A seismic "thumper" used to map earthquake faults.
Horemu Wikimedia Commons

Research geologists have just finished a field trial to test a less invasive way to complete seismic hazard surveys.

Read more
Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor
5:05 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Alaska Air Says It's Holding Its Own Against Delta Onslaught

An Alaska Airlines 737 plane.
Alaska Airlines

The intensifying competition between Alaska Airlines and rival Delta Air Lines in the Western skies does not seem to be hurting the bottom line of either company.

Read more
Disasters and Accidents
4:47 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Donors Pay To Test Seawater For Traces Of Fukushima Radiation

Fukushima seawater radiation plume dispersal model by Rossi et. al.
Deep-Sea Research journal

It's been more than three years since the Fukushima nuclear plant accident resulted in a spill of millions of gallons of radioactive cooling water into the Pacific. Oceanographers projected that it could take until this year for highly diluted traces of that spill in Japan to reach the West Coast of North America.

Read more
Disasters and Accidents
5:53 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Washington Governor Asks For Cooperation With Fire Evacuation Requests

Smoke billows over US Highway 97 near Pateros, Washington, on Friday.
Credit Washington State Department of Transportation

More than a dozen wildfires in eastern Washington and eastern Oregon continue to threaten homes and cause numerous road closures. Washington Governor Jay Inslee Friday asked residents near those fires to heed evacuation notices when issued.

Read more
Disasters and Accidents
2:44 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Washington Evacuees Have Dealt With Fires Before, But 'Not Like This'

File photo of a portion of the Mills Canyon Complex fire in Central Washington
Credit InciWeb

A blaze in Okanogan County, Washington, that Governor Jay Inslee called a “firestorm” has destroyed around 100 homes. Now, Inslee says 1,000 National Guard troops will take a crash-course in wildfire fighting so they can be deployed to central Washington fires.

Read more
Environment and Planning
8:44 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Endangered Species Listing For Wolverine Looking Doubtful

File photo of a wolverine
Credit WDFW

A federal threatened species listing for the wolverine is looking increasingly unlikely.

Read more
Food, Agriculture, and Animals
8:44 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Feds To Remove Fewer Wild Horses From Western Rangelands This Year

File photo of the August 2010 Wild Horse Gather by the Bureau of Land Management at the Stinkingwater Herd Management Area near Burns, Oregon.
Credit Bureau of Land Management

The federal Bureau of Land Management plans to capture and remove fewer wild horses from Western rangelands this summer. An agency statement blames budget constraints and already-full holding pens.

Read more
Sports
3:20 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Want More World Cup? 2015 Women's Final In Vancouver, BC

File photo of BC Place in Vancouver, Canada
Credit Province of British Columbia

Organizers of the next FIFA Women's World Cup hope to leverage the unusually high interest in this year's men's tournament in Brazil to their benefit. Group play and the 2015 World Cup final will take place just across the border in Vancouver, Canada.

Read more
Lifestyle, Leisure, and Sport
5:32 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Coastal County Tries Tax Gambit To Stop Recreation Fees

File photo showing vandalism on Weyerhaeuser's St. Helens Tree Farm.
Credit Weyerhaeuser

Grays Harbor County, Washington, is the first county in the Northwest to strike back against pricey recreation permits now being required by some large timber companies. The county's commission voted unanimously Monday to take a tax deferral away from private timberland owners that charge for public access.

Read more
Transportation
6:00 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Feds Warn States Of Possible Highway Cash Holdback

File photo of construction along I-90 near Roslyn, Washington, in summer 2012.
Credit Washington State Department of Transportation

The Idaho Transportation Department has suspended advertising for bids for future highway projects. Oregon and Washington may soon do the same.

Read more

Pages