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

Washington State Patrol

Federal investigators have interviewed the engineer who was at the controls of Amtrak Cascades Train 501 that derailed last month south of Tacoma. The interview summary points more strongly to human error as the cause of the deadly wreck.

Holly Fearnbach / NOAA

Washington state officials have proposed a new tack to save the Pacific Northwest's critically endangered orca population. Their idea is to boost salmon hatchery production by 10 to 20 million more fish per year to provide more food for the iconic killer whales.

Ruth Hartnup / Flickr -

In Olympia, state lawmakers are considering stronger protections for the critically endangered population of resident killer whales.

Ralph Lauren

When Team USA marches into a South Korean stadium for the Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies next month, they'll be swathed in Northwest wool. Team sponsor Ralph Lauren used wool from an Oregon ranch for the patriotic sweaters, mittens and hats.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Uncertainty reigns about which federal public lands will be open and which closed if the congressional budget standoff leads to a partial government shutdown Friday night.

Robert A. Eplett / FEMA News -

Oregon and Washington officials have identified hundreds of bridges that still need to be replaced or retrofitted to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake from the offshore Cascadia fault zone.

But the pace of highway reinforcements is picking up.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

A quartet of young companies from the Seattle area have raised tens of millions of dollars by tapping into a hot tech trend. They've invented new virtual currencies and sold digital coins to the public.

These token sales are largely unregulated and are sparking increasingly frequent government warnings.

U.S. Olympic Committee

Two more Pacific Northwest athletes are heading to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

If you’re considering buying an electric car in Oregon or Washington, you might want to pay attention to possible changes in tax policy. There’s uncertainty about the tax incentives meant to spur electric car sales.

Sam Michener

The U.S. Olympic bobsled team will be named on Monday—and there is a good chance there will be a Pacific Northwest athlete on the team. That’s unusual because the only World Cup-class bobsled track in the Western U.S. is in Utah.