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.

Ways To Connect

A county judge has ruled that a flower shop in the Tri-Cities broke the law when it refused to serve a gay couple planning a wedding two years ago. Washington's attorney general joined the couple in suing the florist for violating state anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws.

Democratic attorney general Bob Ferguson says the florist's religious beliefs cannot be used to justify treating certain customers differently.

Legislative moves to limit school immunization exemptions are drawing vocal opposition from some parents. Opponents of mandatory vaccination crowded a public hearing at the state capitol in Olympia Tuesday, and the scene could repeat itself in Salem Wednesday.

Amazon.com provided a rare look Friday inside one of its gigantic, high tech warehouses.

The worsening labor dispute at West Coast container ports is causing shippers to search for alternate pathways to and from Asia.

The Washington state Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to make hemp farming legal. The measure now goes to the state House for further consideration.

Paul Eggert / Wikimedia Commons

It's about time... daylight saving time, to be precise. Some Oregon and Washington legislators want to end the yearly practice of springing forward and falling back.

Sometimes it's a vengeful ex-lover; sometimes a thief or a hacker is behind it. Either way, explicit, private photos of people keep getting out on the Internet.

It's been a tough winter so far for many Cascade Mountains ski resorts. Five in Oregon and Washington have suspended operations until they get more snow.

Workers at the Summit at Snoqualmie are even gathering snow from parking lots and building edges and moving it uphill to keep a few runs open.

Nationally, the Pacific Northwest stands out for its low reliance on snowmaking, but that may change.

A ‘lifesaver’ for the resort

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service

It's been seventy five years since salmon and steelhead last swam into the upper reaches of the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam. Tuesday, a group of inland Northwest tribes released a work plan to investigate fish reintroduction.

Oregon could leapfrog Washington to have the highest state minimum wage in the country if the Democratically-controlled legislature approves a proposed increase.

Pages