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

Washington state voters will likely get to weigh in on police use of deadly force. A ballot measure on that subject turned in around 360,000 voter signatures Thursday afternoon. That should be more than enough to qualify for consideration by the Washington Legislature and then probably go to the statewide ballot in 2018.

WSDOT / Flickr

Washington state's Department of Transportation has unilaterally decided on a pre-condition before passenger trains resume service on the Point Defiance Bypass. That's where Monday's deadly derailment happened.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Six survivors of Monday's train derailment south of Tacoma have put Amtrak on notice that they plan to file a lawsuit. It's the first, probably inevitable, sign that various parties affected by the deadly train wreck are lawyering up.

WSDOT

Southbound Interstate 5 where Monday's Amtrak derailment sent train cars crashing down onto the freeway has re-opened. This comes as a big relief to drivers who endured hours-long detours or postponed travel between the Seattle-Tacoma area and points south.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The Washington State Department of Transportation just announced that two through lanes of Interstate 5 will reopen around 5 p.m. Wednesday at the scene of Monday’s deadly train derailment south of Tacoma.

The southbound freeway has been closed for two-and-a-half days.



Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board expect to stay at least another week in Western Washington gathering evidence from Monday's deadly Amtrak train derailment.

Investigators have not yet interviewed the hospitalized train engineer.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Nostalgia is flowing freely in the skies this week as Delta Air Lines takes its remaining Boeing 747 jumbo jets on a farewell tour. They're the last of the iconic jumbos in U.S. passenger service.

The swan song stopped at Delta's main hubs, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It also landed at the jet’s birthplace, Boeing's wide body assembly plant in Everett.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Railroad contractors are making slow progress at the scene of Monday’s deadly derailment on Interstate 5, in Dupont, Washington. Three people were killed and more than 70 injured when an Amtrak train derailed on its inaugural run on a new route from Seattle to Portland.

hpgruesen / Pixabay - tinyurl.com/ybgwgg57

A brand new feasibility study of bullet train service between Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, BC, puts a sky-high price tag on construction costs. But Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signaled he's not deterred and is asking the Legislature to pay for further study.

Washington State House Republicans / Flickr - tinyurl.com/zlgo6qs

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and state lawmakers say they'll take action to preserve net neutrality rules for internet providers. This in light of an expected Federal Communications Commission vote Thursday to roll back Obama-era regulations.

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