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," "Weekday," 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. During the early 1990s, he worked in the Seattle bureau of United Press International. 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. In 1996, he spent two months reporting from Bonn and Berlin, Germany on an Arthur F. Burns Fellowship. In 1999, he traversed the globe to cover the Pacific Rim (Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan) on a Jefferson Fellowship.

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 where there are no radios.

Pages

2014 Winter Olympics
4:51 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Coach From Tacoma Helps U.S. Olympians Play Mental Game

File photo of Team USA goaltender Molly Schaus
Sara Melikian Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 4:47 pm

The Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks had one. Professional baseball teams have them. And the U.S. Olympic women's ice hockey team found one in Tacoma: a "mental skills" coach.

Read more
2014 Winter Olympics
4:48 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Departing Northwest Olympians Confident They'll Be Safe In Sochi

File photo of the Roza Khutor Alpine Resort, site of the alpine skiing events for the Sochi Games.
Sergei Kazantsev Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:33 pm

The 2014 Winter Olympics begin next week amid persistent concerns about security.

Read more
Electric Vehicles
4:03 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Slow Uptake Of Electric Cars Prompts Calls To Extend Washington Tax Break

Nissan Leafs charge on the Washington state capitol campus Tuesday.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 3:48 pm

The slow uptake of electric cars by Northwest drivers is prompting calls to extend a tax break in Washington state for new vehicles powered by alternative fuels.

Read more
2014 Winter Olympics
5:42 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Big Crop Of Northwest Olympians Headed To Sochi Games

The 2014 U.S. Olympic Team has a Northwest flavor, including these Nordic skiers, Sadie Bjornsen (3rd from R), Erik Bjornsen (5th from R), Holly Brooks (5th from L) and Simi Hamilton (2nd from L).
Sarah Brunson U.S. Ski Team

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 11:10 am

Athletes headed to the Winter Games from Oregon, Idaho and Washington run the gamut from Olympic rookies to medal-draped veterans.

Read more
2014 Winter Olympics
4:19 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Broken Ribs Can't Stop Seattle Skier's Drive To Compete In Winter Olympics

Roberto Carcelen of Seattle carried the Peruvian flag at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He is tabbed to be Peru's flag bearer again in Sochi.
Jude Freeman Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:30 pm

It's every Olympic athlete's worst nightmare: After years of preparation, training and fundraising, an accident mere weeks before the Olympic Games derails everything.

Read more
2014 Winter Olympics
5:09 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Bend Ski Coach Guides Caribbean Island To First Winter Games

Gary and Angelica Morrone di Silvestri will be skiing for Dominica in Sochi.
Gay Di Silvestri

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 7:25 am

The Northwest contribution to the U.S. Olympic team goes beyond athletes. A bunch of top coaches, ski tuners, wax technicians and physical therapists from here are Sochi-bound too.

Read more
Washington Unemployment
4:19 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Unemployment Rate In Washington Lowest In More Than 5 Years

The unemployment rate in Washington state has fallen to the lowest level in five years.

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:58 pm

New numbers for December from the Washington state employment department peg the current jobless rate at 6.6 percent. The last time it was lower was in November 2008.

Read more
2014 Winter Olympics
7:01 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Want To Know How To Make Snow? Ask This Guy

Wenatchee's Jon Wax climbs a snow making tower to perform maintenance ahead of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In the background is the finish line for downhill ski racing at the Rosa Khutor venue.
Credit Sam Morrison

Winter Olympic hopefuls from the Northwest are learning this month who will get to go to the Sochi Games next month. One snow making expert from Washington state is already there. This Wenatchee man arrived at the Russian resort zone nearly two months ago to help ensure a snow-covered Olympics.

Read more
Natural Gas Filling Station
5:42 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Portland Utility To Install Natural Gas Truck Filling Stations

One of the few public CNG fueling stations now in operation in the Northwest is near SeaTac Airport.
Tom Banse

Oregon regulators moved this week to make it easier for truck fleet owners to convert from gasoline or diesel to natural gas. Portland-based Northwest Natural became the first utility in the region to get clearance to build compressed natural gas filling stations.

Read more
Fish Research
4:57 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Researchers Detect and 'Count' Fish From Just A Glass Of Water

Study co-author Kevan Yamahara collects a water sample at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Jesse Port Center for Ocean Solutions

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 4:55 pm

It's not something we often think about, but as we go about daily life, we're constantly shedding little flakes of skin. So are animals and fish.

Read more

Pages