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, Idaho and Oregon have all placed in the top ten nationally for job growth over the past year.

Autumn Veatch / Instagram

A north central Washington hospital has discharged a Bellingham girl who emerged from the woods alive -- two days after a plane crash. Sixteen-year-old Autumn Veatch  spent the last day and a half at Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster. Doctor James Wallace treated the exhausted survivor.

In a newly released 911 recording, the teenage girl who walked away from a mountainside plane crash reported she was the only one to make it out alive.

A sixteen-year-old girl from Bellingham, Washington, walked out of the woods Monday afternoon -- two days after surviving a small plane crash in the North Cascades.

The Washington Legislature finally adjourned its 2015 session Friday. The last piece of business was for the state House to approve $508 million in new spending on roads, ferries and transit.

Amidst further downsizing confirmed by the U.S. Army Thursday, the Washington National Guard got good news. The Guard’s 81st Armored Brigade announced it will shed its heavy tanks and armor to convert into a more nimble Stryker configuration.

The window of opportunity to prevent grave ecological damage to our oceans from climate change is closing. That's according to a paper appearing Friday in the journal Science.

A few minutes past the last minute, the Washington Legislature renewed an expiring tax incentive to promote non-polluting plug-in cars.

Washington state's brand new operating budget was not even hours old Wednesday when it sprung a big hole.

A $2 billion hole.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Living witnesses to the forced relocation of West Coast Japanese-Americans during World War Two are growing fewer every year. Many who were incarcerated are in their 80s and 90s now. Their descendants -- and historians -- want to preserve the memory and lessons from the unjust internment. Some take an annual pilgrimage to the Minidoka internment camp in southern Idaho to find out more.

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