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.

Ways to Connect

Alex Needham -

The province of British Columbia will support and has agreed to contribute money for further study of bullet train service from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver.

DOGAMI Archives

No one can say when exactly the next Cascadia megaquake will strike other than there's a fair chance it'll happen in our lifetimes. A new study of likely earthquake impacts in the Greater Portland region finds the exact timing and season make a big difference when it comes to casualties and damage.

Candice Emmons / NOAA Fisheries/Northwest Fisheries Science Center

The Pacific Northwest’s beloved orcas will not survive unless humans do more to ensure adequate food and cleaner, quieter waters. That was one of the messages at a crowded signing ceremony in Seattle convened by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.


Planned student walkouts Wednesday bring attention to reducing the threat of school shootings. One group of Northwest parents is pushing schools to prepare better for another kind of disaster, a major earthquake. 

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

On the final day of the Washington legislative session last week, lawmakers passed a bill to make it easier to prosecute police for negligent shootings. It was a compromise agreed to by groups on all sides to keep a potentially divisive initiative off the November ballot.

Now professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman, who wasn't previously involved on this issue, filed a lawsuit Monday that argues the legislature wrongly denied the voters a say.

SounderBruce -

After several tries, blood bank couriers and wheelchair taxis with just one person on board have won coveted access to carpool lanes in order to provide better service.

LWYang -

The Washington Legislature Thursday approved further study of a super-fast train from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver, BC.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Last year, Horizon Air was forced to cut back the number of flights to many Pacific Northwest cities because it didn’t have enough pilots. The Alaska Air Group subsidiary has stabilized its ranks and is slowly rebuilding service.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Your internet service should be free of slow lanes and corporate favoritism if legislation just signed in Washington state and awaiting the governor's signature in Oregon works as intended. The states' objectives were to block a federal rollback of Obama-era net neutrality rules.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

If you're thinking about buying an electric car in Washington state, you might want to act fast. That's because the state Legislature is on the verge of letting a hefty sales tax break expire. In Oregon, an electric car rebate faces a challenge in court next week.