Tom Banse | KUOW News and Information

Tom Banse

Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from 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 found online and heard on-air 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.

Rescuers are employing high technology tools and tricks to help locate victims buried deep under the muck and debris of Saturday’s landslide in Northwest Washington.

KUOW Photo/Phyllis Fletcher

With the death toll expected to rise from Saturday’s catastrophic landslide near Oso, Snohomish County officials and emergency planners are starting to field hard questions about permitting home construction in a known landslide zone.

Ongoing movement of the huge landslide that crashed down on a rural Northwest Washington neighborhood on Saturday is hampering the search for more victims.

Nearly half of the cigarettes smoked in Washington went untaxed by the state according to an estimate from a new study by two think tanks.

The spring seasonal outlook from the National Weather Service calls for a warmer-than-average spring west of the Cascades and normal temperatures and rainfall across the inland Northwest.

Washington state's unemployment rate held steady in February at 6.4 percent according to fresh numbers from the state Employment Security Department.

Once upon a time, salmon and steelhead swam over a thousand miles upriver to the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River, at the foot of the Rockies in British Columbia.

British Columbia has staked out a negotiating position on a cross-border water treaty that puts it at odds with public utilities and ratepayers in the U.S. Northwest.

In Olympia, Washington policymakers are pondering whether to make an end run around looming cutbacks in the federally-funded food stamp program.

Despite finishing dead last in his race in Sochi, a Peruvian-American Olympic cross country skier is looking forward to a big welcome when he returns home to Seattle this weekend.

It's been exactly three years since a huge tsunami in March 2011 took thousands of lives in Japan and washed whole villages out to sea.

American and European politicians are boycotting the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi to protest Russian moves in Ukraine. But athletes with physical disabilities from Idaho, Oregon and Washington plan to compete in the Olympic host city as scheduled starting this weekend.

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

Two teams want to re-enact Evel Knievel's famous jump over the Snake River Canyon in Idaho.

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

At the winter Olympics in Sochi, the U.S. has collected no medals so far in speedskating, an uncharacteristic result. The Americans' best remaining hope for hardware rests with short track speedskater J.R. Celski and the men's relay team.

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.

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

A snowboarder raised in Sun Valley, Idaho soared over better known and more experienced rivals to grab the gold medal in women's halfpipe at the Winter Olympics.

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.

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.

The 12-hour time difference between the Pacific Northwest and Sochi, Russia threatens to rob sleep from diehard sports fans and the families of local athletes competing at the Winter Olympics.

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

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.

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

  When the American short track speedskaters take the ice at the Winter Olympics next week, they'll be without their biggest star who retired after the Vancouver Games.

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.

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

Nomination to the U.S. Olympic Team completes a remarkable comeback for a pro skier from Bellingham, Wash.

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.

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