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

Mustafa Lazkani / FEMA

The report cards are in and it's not pretty if you worry about how you'll fare after a magnitude 9 Cascadia megaquake and tsunami. Washington and Oregon's emergency management divisions have now published after-action reviews of last June's multi-state disaster drill called Cascadia Rising .

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Who caught the last fish you bought for dinner? If it came from Pacific Northwest waters, the fisherman was very likely a man. Commercial fishing remains a male-dominated profession in the Northwest.

But research by Oregon State University and a federal agency shows evolution in women's roles in the industry.

Google Earth

An Oregon agency is proposing two new earthquake proof buildings near the state Capitol in Salem to ensure government continuity after a Magnitude 9 offshore mega quake. The state buildings would have solar power and backup generators, independent water and sewage systems, and shock absorbers under the foundation.

Eric Salard / Flickr - tinyurl.com/h7o933o

The Federal Aviation Administration says reports of unsafe flying by civilian drones "have increased dramatically" over the past two years.

Women on Waves

A husband and wife from Port Townsend, Washington, are on their way home after being expelled from Guatemala. The Washingtonians and several other international activists narrowly avoided arrest during a maritime abortion rights protest.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

When Mother Nature throws travelers a curve ball and freezing fog descends over the airport in Medford, Oregon, it can delay takeoffs and landings. But ground crews there and at several other Western airports have an unusual tool at their disposal to bust the fog.

SounderBruce / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/zcxx2tq

The grand opening of the newest Trump International Hotel and Tower is set for Tuesday in Vancouver, British Columbia. President Donald Trump's eldest sons, Eric and Donald Jr., are the headliners for the official ribbon cutting and opening gala.

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

In 2013 the Washington Legislature killed the idea of a bigger, safer bridge between Portland and Vancouver, Washington. Three years later, Washington state lawmakers could take preliminary votes to revive plans to replace the aging Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River.

Edmund Fanning, 1838 / via Wikipedia

Shipwrecks along the Pacific Northwest coast number in the thousands. A handful have become the long-running obsessions of a cadre of shipwreck buffs.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue

A suburban Portland fire district has a valentine for potential heart attack victims. And if it makes hearts un-flutter, you could see the messages shared more widely across the region and country in coming years via a lifesaving smartphone app.

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