Tom Banse

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. 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 beyond the reach of email.

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

It's been 75 years since salmon and steelhead last swam into the upper reaches of the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam.

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

The steep drop in oil prices is helping to pad the bottom line of Seattle-based Alaska Airlines. But don't expect lower fares on the horizon.

The Washington and Oregon employment departments have closed the book on 2014 with the release of their December jobs numbers.

Soccer star Hope Solo of Seattle has been suspended from the U.S. Women’s National Team and sent home from training camp.

Sales of small, camera-equipped drones are soaring. Aside from air safety issues, these remotely-piloted aircraft can raise privacy concerns if they fly uninvited over your backyard or past your bedroom windows.

In the years before Washington and Oregon legalized recreational pot for adults, thousands of people were convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Up and down the West Coast there are beach towns where it would be challenging to escape a tsunami.

Hemp advocates have launched a renewed bid to make hemp farming lawful in Washington state.

A municipal court judge in suburban Seattle has dismissed domestic violence charges against home-grown soccer superstar Hope Solo.

Dredging of the Lower Snake River started Monday after a delay of several weeks due to a court challenge.

A pair of experienced long distance hikers are more than halfway through a full traverse of the Pacific Crest Trail - in the dead of winter.

Advanced Aviation Solutions , an Idaho-based startup, has become the first company to win federal approval to use drones in farm settings.

Grays Harbor County commissioners approved an emergency declaration for their coastal county Tuesday in the wake of flooding and landslides.

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