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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Fires and looting
3:51 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Ferguson Business Owners Left Asking Questions

Businesses along South Florissant Road continued to board up windows Tuesday afternoon.
Credit Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Business owners in Ferguson are asking why the Missouri National Guard didn’t do more to protect their property Monday night.

At least a dozen small businesses along West Florissant Avenue and South Florissant Road were looted and set on fire within hours of the grand jury’s announcement. That includes Sam’s Meat Market, the store that served as a backdrop for press conference last week where business owners pleaded for peaceful protests.

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Preparing for the unknown
4:45 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

In Anticipation Of Potential Unrest, Schools, Businesses And Activists Prepare

Sam's Meat Market in Ferguson. its windows are boarded up in anticipation of protests after the grand jury decision.
Credit Maria Altman / St. Louis Public Radio

As the wait goes on for an announcement by the Darren Wilson grand jury, people, businesses and organizations are taking steps to prepare for possible unrest. There are random anecdotes of parents preparing to bring their children home early from school, and businesses developing plans for locking down under duress.

But there are also more concrete plans in the works.

School closings

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Data privacy
4:19 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Agreement Lays Out How Ag Companies Can Use Big Data

A farmer uses precision planting equipment.
Credit Via Monsanto

Monsanto’s subsidiary Climate Corporation, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and several other agribusiness companies and farm groups have reached an agreement on big data.

The group had been meeting for months as more and more farmers begin to use data services to help them get the most of their fields. Climate Corporation, for example, uses figures about previous crop yields, soil information and weather data to help farmers make decisions about when to plant, fertilize and harvest.

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Startup Culture
8:36 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Here's Who Is Helping Women Entrepreneurs In St. Louis

Jennifer Ehlen, founder of Prosper Women Entrepreneurs, gives a presentation recently at a Women 2.0 event.
Credit Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

Where are the women in St. Louis’ startup scene?

It’s a question many began asking following a 2011 American Express OPEN report that ranked St. Louis last among 25 top metropolitan areas for women entrepreneurs. That same year the Kauffman Foundation released a study on overcoming the gender gap within entrepreneurship.

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Startup Culture
4:13 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Startup Connection To Feature 70 Early Stage Businesses

Entrepreneurs mingle at a previous Startup Connection.
Credit (courtesy Startup Connection)

The St. Louis entrepreneurial community will be on display at this year's Startup Connection at Saint Louis University on Wednesday.

The business competition and resource fair will highlight 70 startups through its venture showcase, including a session where the entrepreneurs will give elevator pitches to compete for funding.

Nineteen of the startups are vying for three Startup Challenge Awards worth a total of  $100,000. The other 51 ventures will be competing for smaller awards.

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Women at work
2:57 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

WISE Conference To Connect St. Louis Women In Science

Credit (Flickr/Tanya Monro)

As of the last U.S. Census, only 28 percent of the workforce in science and engineering was female.

The Women in Science & Entrepreneurship Conference is addressing that disparity. It aims to help women in the sciences find the right career path and go further. WISE, as the conference is being called, will take place Friday in St. Louis. The event is sold out.

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LGBT Rights
4:48 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Same-Sex Marriage Is Likely Boon For St. Louis Wedding Industry

Credit Kurt Nordstrom via Flickr

It’s hardly June, but wedding vendors in Missouri are hearing from lots of couples.

Last week both a circuit court judge in St. Louis and federal judge in Kansas City found Missouri’s ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional. As a result the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County and Jackson County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Pat Rutherford-Pettine, owner of the The Sugaree Baking Co., said she’s done wedding cakes and pies for civil unions for many years. She’s baking her first official wedding cake for a same sex couple in Missouri this week.

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Redevelopment
2:59 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

KP Development Buys Chrysler Plant

The former Chrysler plant in Fenton is on its way to becoming a light-industrial and office park.

KP Development, formerly known as Koman Properties, closed on the deal Wednesday for the Fenton Logistics Park. The plan calls for more than a half billion dollars of investment into the property and is projected to provide up to 3,000 jobs.

Scott Haley, KP Development’s senior vice president, said two companies are close to finalizing plans within the next few months to locate in the park. He said they include a regional and national players.

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Agribusiness and public opinion
10:54 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Monsanto Looks To Re-engineer Its Image

Credit St. Louis Public Radio

When you ask people what they think of Monsanto, it doesn’t take long for the four-letter word to come out.

"I hate Monsanto," Jackie King said emphatically, while shopping at the farmer’s market in Tower Grove Park.

King said she doesn’t like GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, that Monsanto helped pioneer in the 1980s. The subject of GMOs came up a lot, but shoppers at the market looking over locally-grown vegetables voiced a lot of concerns about the company, from patented seeds to its impacts on small farmers.

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Agriculture biotechnology
9:49 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Monsanto Appeals Directly To Consumers In New Ad Campaign

Credit St. Louis Public Radio

Monsanto launched a new national advertising campaign Wednesday that focuses on something everyone can relate to: food.

It’s part of an effort at Monsanto to improve the St. Louis-based company’s image. Earlier this year the Harris Poll on corporate reputations ranked Monsanto third worst in the country, just behind BP.

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