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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Civil War
6:40 am
Thu February 24, 2011

Missouri’s Civil War: reconciling differing views 150 years later

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War begins in April.

There were some 1,200 battles and skirmishes fought on Missouri soil. Only Virginia and Tennessee saw more clashes.

Missourians were often fighting their own neighbors, or even family members, as the state’s residents split between the Union and Confederacy.

One hundred fifty years later, Missourians still are not unified in how they remember the war or even what to call it.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman reports, some hope the sesquicentennial will change that.

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Thomas Jefferson's Books at Washington University
11:45 am
Mon February 21, 2011

Books from Thomas Jefferson's personal collection found in Wash. U. library

A scrap of paper with Greek notes in Thomas Jefferson’s hand was found tucked in a volume of Plutarch’s Lives. (Joe Angeles, Washington University in St. Louis)

Washington University in St. Louis, named for the first American president, announced this President’s Day, the discovery of a tie to another president.

The university recently learned that its libraries have a collection of books originally owned by Thomas Jefferson.

The 28 titles, including 74 volumes, were donated to Washington University in 1880, with no mention of their provenance.

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Red Light Cameras
3:28 pm
Mon February 14, 2011

Public hearing on red light cameras tonight in Jefferson County

Red light cameras is the topic of three public hearings in Jefferson County. The first of the hearings takes place tonight. (St. Louis Public Radio)

The Jefferson County Council is holding the first of three public hearings tonight on red light cameras.

Last fall Jefferson County's three member board of county executives signed a five-year deal with American Traffic Solutions for a handful of red light cameras.

It now appears those cameras will not go up.

A newly elected seven-member county council is beginning a process to repeal a law that allows traffic cameras.

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St. Louis Homelessness
6:04 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

St. Louis marks halfway point in effort to end chronic homelessness

This screen capture using satellite view in Google Maps shows homeless encampments along the Mississippi River. (St. Louis Public Radio / Google Maps)

The city of St. Louis today marked the halfway point in its ten-year effort to end chronic homelessness.

A five-year report released today shows a 20 percent drop in the city's chronically homeless since 2005.

Chronic homelessness is defined as those homeless for a year or more or four times over a three-year period.

The report also states that the overall homeless population also decreased, from about 1,500 in 2005 to about 1,300 last year.

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Amending the Arch
9:49 am
Thu January 27, 2011

Updated Arch plans, possible cost revealed

A preliminary visual depiction of Ely Smith Square - a part of the plans for the renovated Gateway Arch grounds by Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates. (CityArchRiver website)

The updated plans for the Gateway Arch were revealed at a public meeting last night as well as the possible cost of the project.

The preliminary figure is $578.5 million.

Walter Metcalfe, Jr., who has headed up the CityArchRiver foundation that sponsored the design competition, says completing a vision is worth the price:

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Guatemalan adoption
5:42 pm
Tue January 25, 2011

MO Supreme Court rules on immigrant custody case

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a lower court did not follow procedures when it allowed the adoption of a Guatemalan woman’s child four years ago.

Encarnacion Romero was arrested at a poultry processing plant in southwestern Missouri in 2007 under suspicion of illegal immigration. The next year her infant son was adopted by a Carthage couple while she was in prison.

Romero says she never agreed to the adoption.

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Civil War sesquicentennial
12:06 pm
Tue January 25, 2011

New book about Civil War focuses on St. Louis

A screen capture of the cover of Adam Arenson's new book, "The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War" (The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War Facebook page)

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

And just in time comes historian Adam Arenson’s new book “The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War.”

While Arenson is a professor at the University of Texas El Paso, he spent a year in St. Louis doing research for his book.

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RCGA
4:19 pm
Thu January 20, 2011

Fleming to resign from RCGA

President and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association Dick Fleming. Fleming has announced that he will step down. (St. Louis Public Radio)

The president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association will step down by the end of this year.

Dick Fleming made the announcement Thursday.

He will continue to lead the RCGA until the board chooses his successor.

Fleming says the St. Louis region works together much better than it did when he first joined the RCGA back in 1994.

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Crime Statistics
5:56 pm
Wed January 19, 2011

St. Louis police statistics say major crime reports down more than 9 percent

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

The St. Louis Police Department released its crime statistics today for 2010.

And what did the statistics show?

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MLK Day of Service
5:05 pm
Thu January 13, 2011

Martin Luther King Day of Service events to be held Monday

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. leaning on a lectern on March 26, 1964. Monday, Jan. 17 is a national holiday, one that some will be using as an opportunity to serve their communities. (Wikimedia Commons/Marion S. Trikosko)
Marion S. Trikosko Wikimedia Commons

For some, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day will be a day of service rather than a day off.

More than 400 volunteers are expected to take part in projects organized by AmeriCorps St. Louis and the City of St. Louis.

Brittany Ledbetter with AmeriCorps says they're hoping to foster volunteerism that will help the community long-term.

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