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

Andri Koolme / Flickr - tinyurl.com/zxyevkj

The Consumer Technology Association estimates about 1.2 million drones were sold during the just-completed holiday shopping season. Now one state lawmaker from western Washington wants to give you the legal right to tell a drone operator to buzz off.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Alaska Airlines launches a daily flight Thursday morning from the West Coast to Havana. The new service comes as the Obama administration's opening to Cuba gives way to an uncertain future.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A Nativity scene that appeared without fanfare at the Washington State Capitol early this week has now drawn protest. An atheist/agnostic group installed a counter display Friday on the public Capitol Grounds.

Northwest News Network

Uber and Lyft are gradually expanding their coverage in the Pacific Northwest beyond the major metro areas. Uber launched its smartphone ride-booking service in Kennewick and Yakima, Washington, last week and similar-sized Oregon cities may get their shot in 2017.

Kevin Lee / BCFMWU

Unlucky crewmembers stranded on two big container ships of the bankrupt Hanjin line won't be home for Christmas, but that didn't mean the Christmas spirit bypassed them this week. The ships are being held indefinitely in the vicinity of Victoria at the behest of creditors.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

After the results of the November election, more than half of U.S. states have now authorized medical marijuana. And eight of those states also allow recreational marijuana. So if pot helps some humans feel better, how about people's best friends?

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Alaska Airlines management and workers received a lively, upbeat welcome on their rival’s home turf Wednesday when they flew to San Francisco to celebrate a merger closing. Alaska Air paid $2.6 billion to buy upstart Virgin America.

Now comes the hard work of integration.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines has closed the deal to take over West Coast rival Virgin America. The combined carrier will become the nation's fifth-largest airline.

FEMA/City of Long Beach, Washington

Long Beach, Washington, has an earthquake and tsunami preparedness problem shared with some other low-lying coastal Northwest places such as Seaside, Oregon, and Ocean Shores, Washington. Many townspeople and visitors likely couldn’t reach high ground in time to escape a tsunami.

Cori Medeiros / WSU Spokane Communications

Researchers at Washington State University in Spokane have analyzed well over 100 police deadly force encounters captured on dash cam video or observed in a simulator. That academic research has now turned in a “counter bias” training program.

Pages