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.

Pages

Health & Science
4:05 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Flu Cases On The Rise - Young People Hard Hit

(via Flickr/Daniel Paquet)

Health officials are urging residents to get the flu vaccination after a steep rise in the number of severe cases reported in both Missouri and Illinois.

This year’s most prevalent flu strain so far is H1N1 Type A. That strain hit the United States hard in 2009 and disproportionately affected young and middle-aged adults.

That seems to be the trend again, according to Dr. Faisal Khan, the director of Communicable Disease Control Services in the St. Louis County Health Department.

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Politics & Issues
3:33 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Without Medicaid Expansion, 193,000 Missourians Left In Coverage Gap

Almost 200,000 Missourians would have been covered by Medicaid if the program had been expanded; now they fall into a coverage gap.
Flickr/rosemary

Key provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect at midnight and health-care coverage will begin for millions of Americans.
 
Yet because some states declined to expand Medicaid, there is a coverage gap for 5 million others, including more than 193,000 in Missouri.
 
As part of the federal Affordable Care Act, those with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of federal poverty levels will be eligible for financial assistance, or subsidies, as they purchase health insurance through the new marketplace.
 

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Economy & Innovation
5:00 am
Mon December 23, 2013

St. Louis Looks To Immigrants To Bolster Region

(courtesy St. Louis Mosaic Project)

St. Louis city and county lost population in the 2010 census which created big concerns about the region’s future.

In reaction, the area's civic leaders quickly turned their attention to immigrants.

Foreign born residents make up less than 5 percent of the metropolitan area, far below most other major U.S. cities.

The St. Louis Mosaic Project came together this last year to address the issue.

St. Louis Public Radio and The Beacon’s Maria Altman spoke with Betsy Cohen, the Mosaic's project director.

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Business
2:02 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Boeing Executives Move Up

Dennis Muilenburg has been named Boeing vice chairman, president and chief operating officer.
(courtesy of Boeing)

Boeing announced the promotion of several executives Wednesday, including within Defense, Space and Security in St. Louis.

Dennis Muilenburg, who now heads up the $33 billion Defense division, has been named vice chairman, president and chief operating officer.

In a statement Boeing officials said Muilenburg will move to corporate headquarters in Chicago, where he’ll share oversight of the day-to-day business operations with President and CEO Jim McNerney.

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Business
4:39 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Patriot Coal To Emerge From Bankruptcy

Flickr/Paul Sableman

St. Louis-based Patriot Coal announced Tuesday that a federal bankruptcy judge has approved the company’s reorganization plan, clearing the way to come out of bankruptcy.

Patriot officials said the company will close on its exit financing and emerge from Chapter 11 Wednesday.

The company filed for bankruptcy in July, 2012. At the time, Patriot cited a low demand for coal and big costs for retiree benefits.

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Health Care Economy
10:06 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Getting Ahead By Starting Over: Training To Be A Medical Assistant

Hollee Brooks aims to improve her life and the life of her children.
Credit Robert Joiner/St. Louis Public Radio and The Beacon

Following years of dead-end jobs in the fast-food industry, Hollee Brooks decided to trade her restaurant uniform for scrubs, and train to become a medical technician. If she makes it through nine months of training and gets state certification and some experience, she'll earn considerably higher wages and enjoy employment benefits that usually elude those who flip hamburgers for a living. 

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Politics & Issues
12:18 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

St. Louis County Police Chief Fitch Announces Retirement

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 2:15 p.m.,  Friday, Dec. 13

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch has been using his blog to make blockbuster declarations lately, but perhaps none was as stunning as Friday’s post in which he announced his retirement as of February.

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Metro East Levees
5:20 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Corps Pushes To Finish Levee Fixes

A levee along the Chain of Rocks canal in America's Central Port in Granite City, Ill.
(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Upgrading the Metro East’s aging levees is finally on Washington’s radar, according to officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Yet they warn that the push for more federal funding must continue if the Corps hopes to bring the levees back to 500 year flood protection standards by 2021. That's the Corps’ latest projection for completing the work.

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Features
5:03 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Aiming For Bacon: A Day At A Meat Shoot

These paper cards serve as targets. Whoever hits closest to the black dot in the center or takes the most black wins. Judge Don Motzkus calls it “the luck of the pellets.”
(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

The first thing you need to know about a meat shoot is that they don’t shoot animals.

“That’s not a crazy question, you know, we get that a lot,” said DeeDee Lakas, laughing a bit. “Do you shoot the meat? No, you shoot the target.”

Lakas sits at a long table outside Elks Lodge 2316 in Florissant with a cash box in front of her. The wife of one of the members, she’s signing up shooters at $3 per round. 

Most of the money will go to the Elks’ charitable work, but the winners will walk away with meat; a different cut for each of up to 30 rounds.

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Features
5:00 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Hunger In Missouri: The Stark Numbers

(via flickr/Victor Bezrukov)

While the holidays mean an abundance of food for many of us, a rising percentage of Missourians worry about whether they’ll have enough food.

Based on 2010 data, 837,056 Missourians are not sure whether they will have sufficient food for the month.

Of those residents, 343,253 will likely skip meals or serve smaller portions to stretch food.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture calls these measures of “food insecurity” and “very low food insecurity.”

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