Maria Altman

Reporter

Maria is a reporter at St. Louis Public Radio, specializing in business and economic issues. Previously, she was a newscaster during All Things Considered and has been with the station since 2004. Maria's stories have been featured nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition, as well as on Marketplace.

Maria has won numerous awards, including from the Illinois Associated Press, the Missouri Broadcasters Association, the Missouri Bar Association, and the Missouri State Teachers Association.

She came to St. Louis from Dallas, where she worked at KERA. Maria has also worked at WUIS in Springfield, and WSIU in Carbondale, Ill. She received her M.A. in Public Affairs Reporting at the University of Illinois-Springfield and a B.A. in journalism from the University of Iowa.

In her spare time she serves as an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Maria lives in St. Louis with her husband and two kids.

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Mo. income tax
5:59 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Mo. lawmakers to consider eliminating state's income tax

Republican State Sen. Chuck Purgason wants to do away with the state income tax and rely solely on sales and use taxes.
SLPRnews

Among the proposals that Missouri's legislature will consider next year is one that would eliminate the state's income tax.

State Senator Chuck Purgason is sponsoring the legislation. The Republican from Caulfield wants to see Missouri rely solely on sales and use taxes.

He says that would lure more businesses to the state and be a more fair way of taxing residents.

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Pharmacy Benefits
7:24 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Deadline for Express Scripts and Walgreens deal fast approaching

The deadline for pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts and Walgreens to reach a deal is fast approaching.
Flickr/Stephen Cummings

If the two companies cannot agree on reimbursement rates for drugs by the end of the year, those who carry Express Scripts will not be able to get their prescriptions filled at Walgreens.

With more than 7,700 drug stores nation-wide Walgreens spokesman Michael Polzin says it could be a hardship for some customers.

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Morning News Round-up
6:47 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Morning headlines: Friday, December 23, 2011

Ameren faces a complaint from the Missouri Public Service Commission after failing to report a June fire at its Taum Sauk power station (pictured here) soon enough.
(via Wikimedia Commons/kbh3rd)

New trouble for Ameren at Taum Sauk power plant

A recent memo to the Missouri Public Service Commission shows major problems for Ameren at its Taum Sauk power station.

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Morning News Round-up
9:35 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Morning headlines: Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A view of Forest Park in St. Louis.
(via Flickr/pasa47)

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

Slay authorizes $64 million in bonds for St. Louis parks

Funding for St. Louis City parks will no longer be siphoned into other capital improvement projects, following a bill signing by Mayor Francis Slay Monday night.

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Morning round-up
9:33 am
Wed December 14, 2011

Morning headlines: Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The New Madrid earthquakes broke up rock like this section of rock face, which was later filled with sand. This photo, from Mississippi County, Mo., was taken in 1904.
M.L. Fuller (Image 336)/USGS

Mo. schools and residents to prepare for next big earthquake

It was nearly 200 years ago that the first in a series of massive earthquakes shook Missouri and much of the nation. Now, several Missouri school districts will take part in a drill to prepare for the next big one.

State officials say that nearly 100 districts and individual schools have registered for Missouri's second statewide earthquake drill at 10:15 a.m. on Feb. 7. Meanwhile, more than 146,000 residents are also registered for the drill, called the "Great Central U.S. ShakeOut."

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Missouri Supreme Court
2:11 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Mo. high court examines public defender caseloads

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Updated 9:18 a.m. Dec. 14:

As we mentioned Tuesday morning, the Missouri Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on whether the state's public defenders can turn away cases.

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Lee Enterprises / St. Louis Post-Dispatch
5:51 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Parent company of St. Louis Post-Dispatch announces Chapter 11 filing

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch building in St. Louis.
(via Flickr/pasa47)

The owner of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch announced today that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this month.

Lee Enterprises, based in Davenport, Iowa, says it will allow the company to restructure its debt and exit bankruptcy within 60 days.

The company said in a press release that the filing would not affect employees, vendors and customers.

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Business
4:55 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Retailers push for “e-fairness”

The homepage of online retailer eBay.
(St. Louis Public Radio/Screen Capture)

Some retailers in Illinois are lobbying for E-fairness nationally; a move to require online vendors to charge sales tax just like brick-and-mortar businesses.

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association helped push legislation through in Springfield this year to force remote online retailers with affiliates in the state to charge sales tax.

President and CEO David Vite says 18 e-commerce businesses have registered with the Illinois Department of Revenue since then bringing in $1.5 million.

Vite says the effort in Illinois helped spur a push for a federal law.

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
6:22 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

St. Louis Federal Reserve district the exception in national economic summary

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
(via Flickr/ChrisYunker)

The latest report by the Federal Reserve finds that there was slow to moderate growth in all the Federal Reserve districts, except St. Louis.

What’s known as the Beige Book, or a summary of current economic conditions, is published by the United States Federal Reserve Board eight times a year.

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Claire McCaskill / Boeing /Supercommittee
5:56 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

McCaskill, at Boeing, reacts to supercommittee failure

Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. at Boeing in St. Louis on Nov. 21, 2011.
(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

Senator Claire McCaskill says since the supercommittee failed to come to an agreement, Congress should follow through with the automatic budget cuts.

The $1.2 trillion in cuts would come from defense and non-defense spending, but would not affect Social Security or programs for low-income people such as Medicaid.

Already some Republican senators, including John McCain, have said Congress can reverse the cuts.

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