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.

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Green Cards
4:07 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Immigrant Investors Could Finance Green Trucks For Green Cards

Paul Jerry Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:46 am

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has approved an unusual way for prospective immigrants to earn a U.S. green card and permanent residency.

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Sports
2:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Skiing Siblings Hope To Make It To Sochi, Together

Sadie Bjornsen in the 2013 Nordic World Championships at Val di Fiemme, Italy. She is on the U.S. Olympic team.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Ski Team

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:03 pm

As snowboarders, skiers and skaters finish their qualifying events to get to the Winter Olympics next month, cross-country skiing siblings Erik and Sadie Bjornsen are waiting to find out if their special edge — each other — will get them both to the games.

Sadie has secured a spot on the Nordic team based on her good season; for Erik, the next two weeks will be the clincher.

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2014 Olympics
4:15 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

January Full Of Excitement, Stress For Northwest Olympic Hopefuls

Slalom specialist Hailey Duke of Sun Valley
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 3:15 pm

The month of January promises to serve up lots of excitement, angst and pressure for the many Olympic hopefuls from the Northwest.

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Washington Unemployment
4:51 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Washington Unemployment Drops, But Economic Weaknesses Remain

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 3:45 pm

The unemployment rate in Washington dropped a notch in November.

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Electric Cars
6:06 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Government Fleets Soon To Include More Fully-Electric Cars

Commuter Steve Marsh (left) of Kent, Wash. was honored Monday as the first in the nation to log 100,000 miles on an all-electric Nissan Leaf.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 5:57 pm

Just like consumers who postponed buying new cars during the recent recession, government agencies also put off vehicle replacements. But now procurement officers are getting busy again.

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Columbia River Treaty
4:28 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

U.S. Side Calls For Columbia River Treaty To Be 'Modernized'

File photo of Grand Coulee Dam, looking Southeast.
Gregg M. Erickson Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 4:27 pm

The American negotiating position became clearer Friday in what promises to be difficult bargaining to update a water treaty with Canada.

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Special Work Visas
5:45 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Washington State Sees Big Jump In Use of Temporary Foreign Farmhands

File photo.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 5:38 pm

Northwest farmers hired significantly more foreign guest workers this season under a special immigration program.

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Tsunami Debris
4:20 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Washington Shuts Down Tsunami Marine Debris Hotline

This fishing skiff, found on the Makah Reservation in mid-May, is the most recent confirmed item of Japanese tsunami debris to wash ashore on the Washington Coast.
Eyewitness photo Wash. Marine Debris Task Force

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 4:11 pm

Washington and other Pacific Coast states set up tsunami debris reporting hotlines in the wake of the 2011 disaster in Japan.

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Natural Gas Trucks
5:54 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Utilities Want To Offer Natural Gas Truck Refueling, Competitors Object

Clean Energy operates this CNG filling station near the airport in SeaTac, Wash.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 9:44 am

Trucking fleet operators in the Northwest are showing growing interest in filling up with natural gas instead of diesel.

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Northwest Timber
4:07 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Groups Aim To Boost Logging, Restoration In Olympic National Forest

File photo of Mount Townsend Trail in the Olympic National Forest
Miguel Vieira Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:04 pm

Timber industry and environmental groups will make a stab at collaboration to boost both logging and habitat restoration in the Olympic National Forest.

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