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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St. Louis charter schools
6:22 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

Mayor endorses all four new STL charter schools

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay speaks at the opening of Better Learning Communities Academy. Carl Walker (seated next to the mayor) will attend Kingergarten at BLCA this fall.
Maria Altman St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis will have four new charter schools when school begins in a few weeks.

The mayor was on hand when the latest school, Better Learning Communities Academy, announced Wednesday it’s enrolling students.

Mayor Francis Slay has endorsed all four of the charters opening this year.

At the same time he says some of the St. Louis Public Schools are working. 

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MO Statehouse/Late-term abortions
1:14 pm
Thu July 14, 2011

Nixon will let late-term abortion restrictions take effect without signature

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 2:05 p.m. with comment from Nixon.

Updated 4:19 p.m. with comment from Planned Parenthood and Rep. Tim Jones.

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon says he will let a controversial measure that puts further restrictions on abortions performed after 20 weeks become law without his signature.

The state already bans late-term abortions unless the life or health of the mother is in danger. That includes mental health.

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hotel signs code
5:17 pm
Tue July 12, 2011

Hotel signs code to prevent sex trafficking

Sister Kathy McCluskey speaks at the signing of the ECPAT code at the Millennium Hotel St. Louis Tuesday. Hotel General Manager Dominic Smart stands behind.
Maria Altman St. Louis Public Radio

The Millennium Hotel St. Louis signed a code Tuesday to help prevent the sex trafficking of children.

The move came as nearly 900 Sisters of St. Joseph gathered for a three-day event at the Millennium.

Executive director of the Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph in the U.S., Kathy McCluskey, says they’re working to inform Americans about the issue of child sex trafficking.

"What we’ve discovered is when you do that people will recognize the horror of it and immediately want to learn what can be done to prevent it at every level," McCluskey said.

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Amtrak
5:54 pm
Wed July 6, 2011

Flooding extends Amtrak disruption in Mo.

An Amtrak traincar.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

Amtrak is extending the suspension of one its two daily round trips between St. Louis and Kansas City because of continued flooding along the Missouri River.

The suspension took effect July 2 and had been scheduled to expire at midweek. But the passenger train service said Wednesday the change remains in effect at least through Saturday.

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Amending the Arch
10:34 am
Mon July 4, 2011

Kiener Plaza could be first part of Arch redevelopment project

Kiener Plaza in St. Louis.
(via Flickr/Digital Sextant)

Kiener Plaza is likely to be the first portion of the Gateway Arch project to be completed.

Those familiar with the project say it's slated for completion in the fall of 2013.

The plan for the Plaza includes a performance pavilion, an eating venue, seating, and water features.

Walter Metcalfe with the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, the group that sponsored the design competition, said work on Kiener Plaza can move forward more quickly because it's not part of the National Park.

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Illinois Gambling
4:15 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

Measure to allow slot machines at Ill. racetracks awaits governor's signature

A horse and jockey enter the winner’s circle at Fairmount Park Racetrack on a recent Friday night. If Governor Pat Quinn signs a gambling bill approved by Illinois lawmaker, the track could put in slot machines.
(Robert Altman)

Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and horse tracks used to be the only options for legal gambling.

Then came riverboat casinos.

For years race track owners  in Illinois have asked lawmakers to allow slot machines at their tracks, creating so-called "racinos."

Now all it will take is a signature from Governor Pat Quinn.

But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman reports, it’s not a sure thing.

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Battle of Boonville
4:02 pm
Fri June 17, 2011

Thousands of visitors expected at anniversary of Civil War battle

The Battle of Boonville, Missouri, sketched by Orlando C. Richardson. A reenactment will take place this weekend, on the 150th anniversary of the battle.
(via Wikimedia Commons)

Thousands of spectators are expected in Boonville, Mo. this weekend for the 150th anniversary of one of the Civil War’s first battles.

The Battle of Boonville took place June 17, 1861 as Confederate-leaning Missouri Guard members met Union troops.

Boonville, a town of about 6,400 is expecting 700 re-enactors and 10,000 to 20,000 visitors.

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Nixon on compromise legislation
1:43 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

Nixon adds $1.1 million for oversight of dog breeders

Governor Nixon made the announcement Tuesday at the Humane Society of MIssouri office in St. Louis.
Bill Greenblatt UPI

Missouri’s budget for next fiscal year includes $1.1 million more for oversight of dog breeders.

Governor Jay Nixon highlighted the funding at a press conference Tuesday at the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis.

The move comes after the governor helped craft a compromise bill this spring that toughened state oversight of dog breeders but scaled back some provisions of the voter-approved initiative Prop B.

Humane Society of Missouri president Kathy Warnick says the group has no regrets about the compromise.  

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Morning round-up
9:14 am
Mon June 13, 2011

Morning headlines: Monday, June 13, 2011

Minor flooding is predicted along the Mississippi River at St. Joseph, Mo.
Flickr/USACEpublicaffairs

Minor Flooding Expected this Week in Mo.

Minor flooding is expected along the Mississippi River in Missouri this week. In St. Louis, the river is slightly above flood stage at 30.5- feet, and expected to stay that way for the next four days.

There is a flood warning in effect towns from Quincy, Mo., down to Chester, Ill. until Sunday. National Weather Service meteorologist Butch Dye says the flooding is expected to remain minor, barring significant rainfall.

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Clean Water Act settlement
7:14 am
Fri June 10, 2011

MSD board gives preliminary approval to Clean Water lawsuit settlement

MSD crews make repairs along Hampton Ave. in 2010. The agency's Board of Trustees gave its approval last night to a settlement that will require $4.7 billion in infrastructure upgrades over 23 years.
(via Flickr/Paul Sableman)

The Board of Trustees for the Metropolitan Sewer District gave its initial approval last night to a multi-billion dollar plan to settle a Clean War Act lawsuit.

The state of Missouri and the EPA filed the suit in 2007, which the Missouri Coalition for the Environment later joined. It alleged, among other things that

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