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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Politics
4:09 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Better Together? St. Louis City And County Look At Reuniting

Credit (Flickr Creative Commons User Daniel Leininger)

A new coalition called Better Together launched an effort today Tuesday to study whether St. Louis city and county should re-unite.

Yet coalition members were quick to explain they’re not advocating for a merger.

"We are not advocating reentry. We’re not advocating merger," said former Ambassador George Herbert Walker III, who is chairman of the group. "We’re just saying let’s get all the data together and then as a group decide what is best for St. Louis and the city of St. Louis at this time."

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Metro East
2:59 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Corps To Discuss Metro East Levee Upgrades

(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is holding open houses Wednesday and Thursday evenings to discuss federal levee projects in the Metro East.

The Corps says it’s spent $134 million in federal money for upgrading the levees and more projects are underway.

Yet some in the Metro East worry the Corps may not move fast enough.

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Crime Rankings
2:24 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Video Takes On St. Louis Crime Ranking

Credit (via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

The latest effort to fight the perception of high crime in St. Louis is with a video. 

The St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation produced the five-minute video in partnership with the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission.

Its aim is to debunk St. Louis’ consistent ranking among the most dangerous cities in the U.S.

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Loop Trolley
5:00 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Will Trolleys Come Back To St. Louis' Loop?

Olive Boulevard looking west to Grand Avenue in 1907. This is outside the Loop Trolley proposal, but gives a sense of what streets in St. Louis looked like back when trolleys ran.
(Missouri History Museum, St. Louis)

Trolleys are making a comeback across the country from Seattle to Tampa with promises of economic development and walkable neighborhoods.

In St. Louis an effort to bring the fixed tracks back to University City’s Delmar Loop began in 1997.

After the $44 million project landed a big federal grant, it seemed St. Louis would be home to trolleys again.

But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman reports the proposed Loop Trolley has hit some bumps.

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Business
4:16 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Loop Trolley Faces Suit: Edwards Optimistic

(Missouri History Museum)

A federal lawsuit filed last week could create serious delays for the U-City Loop Trolley project.

It alleges that the vote taken to create the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District violated both state and federal laws.

Four individuals, including former University City Councilwoman Elsie Beck Glickert, filed the suit claiming it was unconstitutional to allow non-resident property owners to vote and weighting that vote based on the number of acres they owned.

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Economy
4:41 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Federal Benefits Drop For 220,000 In St. Louis City And County On Food Stamps

Credit Flickr/Mike Trott

Funding for food stamps dropped off sharply Friday after stimulus dollars for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ran out.

The additional funds had been used to give more food stamps per month to families and make more people be eligible for the program.

According to Sandy Moore, the president of St. Louis-based Urban Strategies, more assistance is needed; not less.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Old North Benefit To Feature Band That 'Should Be Way Bigger Than They Are'

(courtesy Five Eight)

The Old North Restoration Group is holding a benefit concert Saturday that will feature the band Five Eight.

The group out of Athens, Georgia was named by All Songs Considered last year as one of five bands that should be way bigger than they are.

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Business
12:21 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Tax Help Approved For Laclede Gas Move

Citizens in opposition to the $8 million TIF held signs.
Maria Altman

The St. Louis Tax Increment Financing Commission voted in favor of an $8 million tax incentive Wednesday to redevelop a downtown building that Laclede Gas may occupy.

The Koman Group---which is seeking the TIF---plans to rehab the building at 706 Market St. for an estimated $46 million.

Laclede officials have indicated they would like to move from their current headquarters at 720 Olive St. to the building just a couple of blocks away.

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Business
3:58 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Laclede Gas Should Move Without Tax Help, Protesters Say

MORE protests outside Laclede Gas headquarters on Monday.
Maria Altman

An advocacy organization is protesting the request for Tax Increment Financing as Laclede Gas plans to move down the street. 

Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, or MORE, held signs outside of Laclede Gas’ headquarters Monday.

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School Transfers
4:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

School Transfers: Lessons From St. Louis' Past

Lisa Thompson, at left, as a senior in high school, and, at right, today. Thompson transferred to the Parkway School District from a St. Louis parochial school as an eighth grader in the mid-1980s.
(Courtesy Lisa Thompson/Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

This fall more than 2,500 students climbed on board buses and into taxis leaving the unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens Districts for accredited districts in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties.

The migration began after a ruling this June by the Missouri Supreme Court, which upheld a controversial state law.

It just so happens that the two unaccredited districts are predominantly African-American, and the districts chosen to receive them are largely white.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman reports that’s drawn some comparisons to an earlier time.

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