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 where there are no radios.

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Environment and Planning
5:32 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Tribes Optimistic About Returning Salmon To Upper Columbia Basin

File photo. An aerial view of Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River, the border between Oregon and Idaho.
Credit MrPanyGoff / Wikimedia

Hydropower dams built without fish ladders have blocked migratory fish from the upper reaches of the Columbia and Snake Rivers for decades.

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Disasters and Accidents
4:48 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Possible New Japanese Tsunami Debris Investigated At Long Beach

Park rangers are investigating the origin of this skiff found near Long Beach, Wash., on Wednesday morning.
Washington State Parks

State park rangers on Washington's Long Beach peninsula are investigating a new possible case of Japanese tsunami debris.

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Environment and Planning
6:21 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Washington State Senator: Oil Trains 'Going To Be With Us For A While'

File photo of a crude oil train.
Credit Raymond D. Woods Jr. / Flickr

Environmental regulators in Washington state are expecting a lively crowd Thursday in the coastal city of Hoquiam.

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Environment and Planning
5:43 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

First Nuisance Sea Lions Of 2014 Killed At Bonneville Dam

File photo of a California sea lion consuming a salmon just below the Columbia River's Bonneville Dam.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

State wildlife officers trapped and killed six salmon-chomping sea lions at Bonneville Dam earlier this week.

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Disasters and Accidents
3:16 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Flags Lowered Across Washington To Honor Landslide Victims

Flags fly at half mast in front of Washington State Capitol.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Flags are flying at half mast across Washington state this afternoon to honor victims of last month's deadly landslide.

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Environment and Planning
5:21 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Washington's Wildfire Season Officially Starts Tuesday

File photo. Wildfire season officially starts on April 15 in Washington state
InciWeb

Wildfire season officially starts on April 15 in Washington state. Oregon and Idaho have rolling starts to fire precaution rules depending on local conditions.

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Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor
8:07 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Extended Season For Some Northwest Ski Areas, But Profits Scarce

Notice the brown hills around Sun Valley in this Dec. 29, 2013 file photo. Snowmaking allowed the famous resort to operate during the crucial holiday period.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Thanks to late-season snow that fell at many area Cascade ski areas will welcome skiers and snowboarders well past Easter.

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Weather and Climate
2:58 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Water Supply Rebounds Across Most of Northwest After March Storms

On this map of current snow conditions, blues and greens are good. Red, orange and yellow represent below average snowpack.
Northwest River Forecast Center

Irrigators, hydropower dam operators and tugboat captains are sitting pretty across most of the Northwest according to the latest regional water supply forecast.

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Environment and Planning
6:23 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Banner Summer On Tap For Ocean Salmon Fishing

File photo. Fisheries managers are expecting a banner year for ocean salmon fishing.
Michael B Flickr

A federal fisheries management panel has approved what some charter captains are calling the best ocean fishing season in 20 years.

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Disasters and Accidents
2:53 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Inslee Happy With Federal Aid For Landslide, But Says It Won't 'Make People Whole'

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson visited the landslide site on April 6, 2014.
Office of the Governor

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he's pleased with the federal disaster relief flowing to the state for last month's deadly landslide in Snohomish County.

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