Tom Banse

Regional Correspondent

Tom Banse covers business, environment, public policy, human interest and national news 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 heard 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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Washington Governor Jay Inslee Friday significantly expanded a drought declaration due to dwindling snowpack.

So far, few Northwest Democrats are getting on board with a deal to "fast track" a pending Pacific trade agreement, The Trans-Pacific Partnership.

An audacious proposal to revive the Columbia River’s historic Celilo Falls drew heavy flak when it was aired at the Oregon Legislature Thursday.

On Thursday morning, embattled Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley called Democratic Governor Jay Inslee -- right around the time the U.S. Attorney’s office for Western Washington announced Kelley’s indictment.

The Washington state House voted 91-7 Wednesday to exempt junior hockey teams from teen labor laws by expressly classifying the players as non-employees.

Oregon and Washington are close to joining neighboring states in specifically outlawing "revenge porn."

The recovery from the Great Recession has crossed a milestone in Washington state.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Hut-to-hut or village-to-village trekking is a popular vacation pursuit in regions as diverse as Europe, New Zealand, the Himalayas and Vietnam. It's not much heard of in the U.S. Now some hikers, businesses and nonprofits are promoting a vision of walking holidays right here in the Northwest - in the Columbia River Gorge. But the town-to-trails hiking concept clashes with some old-timers' visions for the Gorge.

The U.S. Women's National Team coach has named four soccer pros from the Northwest to the World Cup roster Tuesday.

In California, March 31 is a legal holiday. Schools and government offices are closed for César Chávez Day.

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