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

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Emergency managers from Washington coastal counties and tribes practiced tsunami alert communication and coordination with state and federal partners Thursday. They're trying to smooth out glitches revealed after an undersea earthquake in Alaska in January.

PAE ISR

Drone testing by a defense contractor has stopped after one of the company's prototypes crashed on Saturday and set off a small wildfire near the Pendleton, Oregon, airport.

Xiangfu / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/ycjjtb63

A public utility in north central Washington state wants to root out a new kind of outlaw: the rogue bitcoin miner.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

One of the key elements of your emergency kit should be enough drinking water to be self-sufficient for days or weeks after a big earthquake. That task become much trickier when public water systems are wrecked and you are responsible for hordes of people in a community shelter.

Liz Roll / FEMA News

The state of Washington is allocating $200,000 to inventory how many old buildings statewide could collapse in an earthquake. That money is included in a budget Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed this week.

Lance Cpl. Ethan Johnson / U.S. Marine Corps - tinyurl.com/y76p2eo9

The worst case scenario for flooding from a tsunami along the Pacific Northwest coast just got even worse. Washington's Department of Natural Resources with help from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration re-mapped the maximum tsunami threat from Grays Harbor down to the Columbia River mouth.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Now that electric cars are a common sight on the nation's highways, and prototypes exist for electric trucks and airplanes, could electric ferries be next?

The 2018 state transportation budget signed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday includes money to look at converting some of the state ferry fleet.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

When The Big One happens, emergency planners and geologists expect the vast majority of us will survive. But a magnitude 9 rupture on the Cascadia earthquake fault will likely cut electricity, running water and sewer for weeks—or even months afterwards.

Erin Burkett - USGS, Jeff Goertzen - Orange County Register

An earthquake early warning system under development for the West Coast gets a major boost in the new federal budget that President Donald Trump signed into law Friday.

Master Sgt. Rick Cowan / U.S. Coast Guard

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter came within 50 feet of colliding with a drone over Port Angeles, Washington, last weekend. The Coast Guard said an air crew was doing low altitude training exercises near Fairchild International Airport when it had to take evasive action.

Pages