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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2014 Winter Olympics
4:48 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Northwest Claims Another Medal, But It Comes In Heartbreaking Hockey Loss

Hilary Knight of Sun Valley
SaraMelikian Flickr

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 3:50 pm

More Olympic hardware is coming home to the Northwest, but it comes via a heartbreaking loss. 

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Evel Knievel Reenactment
6:51 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Evel Knievel Jump Reenactment Raises Questions

Replica of the one-person, steam-powered “Skycycle X-2” Evel Knievel used in 1974.

A proposal to re-enact and complete a failed jump by legendary stuntman Evel Knievel prompted lots of sticky questions at an open house near Twin Falls, Idaho Wednesday night. Neighboring property owners and local police and fire officials peppered the event promoter with concerns during a packed public meeting.

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2014 Winter Olympics
4:55 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Northwest Snowboarder Races For Russia At Olympic Games

Vic Wild
Russian Federation

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:05 am

A Pacific Northwest snowboarder is predicted to be a medal contender when snowboard giant slalom racing begins Wednesday at the Winter Olympics.

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Sochi Games
7:59 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Winter Games Downright Spring-Like, But Still 'Super Fun' For Northwest Nordic Skiers

Former Sun Valley skier Simi Hamilton competes in the skate sprint Tuesday.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Ski Team

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 10:10 am

It's so warm in the mountains above Sochi that U.S. Olympic cross country skiers are going sleeveless, hatless and gloveless.

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Gold Medal
7:56 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Sun Valley's Farrington Says Gold Medal 'Opens A Lot Of Doors'

Kaitlyn Farrington (middle) won the goal medal in the snowboard halfpipe on Wednesday.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Snowboarding

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:31 pm

Sun Valley, Idaho native Kaitlyn Farrington maintained her composure as the Star Spangled Banner played in front of a big, cheering crowd at the medals ceremony.

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2014 Winter Olympics
4:10 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Idaho Snowboarder Grabs Northwest's First 2014 Olympic Medal

USA snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington (center) of Bellevue, Idaho won gold in the women's halfpipe on Wednesday.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Snowboarding

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 10:26 am

The Northwest has its first Olympic gold medal from the 2014 Sochi Games. Snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington of Bellevue, Idaho triumphed in the women's halfpipe Wednesday.

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2014 Winter Olympics
4:58 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Two Northwest Athletes Chosen As Flag Bearers in Sochi

File photo of Roberto Carcelen of Seattle carrying the Peruvian flag at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Jude Freeman Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 3:37 pm

Two athletes from the Northwest had the honor of carrying their nation's flag in the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics -- but neither banner was the Stars and Stripes.

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2014 Winter Olympics
5:13 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

U.S. Olympians Wearing Northwest Wool For Opening Ceremony

Woolgrower Jeanne Carver with the 2014 U.S. Olympic parade sweater
David Nogueras OPB

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:41 pm

When Team USA marches into the stadium for the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Friday, they'll be swathed in the warmth of the Northwest, quite literally.

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2014 Winter Olympics
5:08 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Opening Ceremony Never Gets Old, Even For Olympic Veterans

U.S. Olympic snowboarder Nate Holland
Sarah Brunson U.S. Snowboarding

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:21 pm

For some of the Northwest athletes competing at the Winter Games, this will be the third or fourth time to experience the Opening Ceremonies.

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Oil Trains
6:49 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Crude Oil Train Oversight Divides Washington Legislature

File photo of a BNSF train from March 16, 2013.
Raymond D. Woods Jr. Flickr

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 9:50 pm

In Olympia, state lawmakers are going down divergent tracks in how to respond to the rapid increase of crude oil trains crossing the region.

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