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.

Ways To Connect

AlphaLab Startup Accelerator

A bus tour highlighting Midwestern startup communities will roll into St. Louis this fall. 

The Rise of the Rest Road Tour is spearheaded by AOL’s former CEO Steve Case, and includes several investment firms, including Revolution, which Case founded in 2005.

The tour will feature a startup pitch competition in each city with the winners getting a $100,000 investment from Case. In St. Louis, that competition will take place at T-REX, a downtown co-working space and technology incubator, on Oct. 10.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced a $1 million dollar Small Business Relief Program Thursday in the wake of unrest in Ferguson.

The program will offer zero-percent interest loans of up to $10,000 for small businesses impacted by the riots. The loans are available to businesses in Dellwood, Jennings and unincorporated St. Louis County as well as Ferguson.

Maria Altman (St. Louis Public Radio)

The stretch of West Florissant Avenue where most of the protests have taken place is easy to spot.

Most of the businesses’ windows are covered in plywood, including at Three T’s Beauty Salon.

When a couple of credit union officials came in offering to help with the damage, owner Triondus Sleet explained she “pre-boarded” because she had to leave town for a few days.

"No, I’m fine," she told the men.

"So, you didn’t have any issues at all? Well, if you do, stop by," one of the men said.

March 82314
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

  Despite soaring temperatures, hundreds turned out for the St. Louis County NAACP’s youth march in Ferguson on Saturday afternoon.

The marchers moved up and down West Florissant Avenue, the street that has been the center of protests since Michael Brown was shot to death by a Ferguson police officer Aug. 9. Unlike some previous violent protests, this march was entirely peaceful. Police officers handed out bottled water as the temperature rose into the upper nineties.

police line ferguson 81814
Ray Jones | UPI

Despite the best efforts of community leaders to keep the crowd in check in Ferguson Monday night, police deployed tear gas, 31 people were arrested and two people were shot.

While there was no curfew in place, police dispersed the crowd shortly before midnight.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 4:00 p.m.

The chief of the Ferguson Police Department Friday morning released the name of the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown last Saturday. 

At the same time, the department also released documents showing that Brown was a suspect in a “strong-armed” robbery– a revelation that incensed protestors who are already upset over the 18-year-old African American’s death.

Maria Altman (St. Louis Public Radio)

Most Ferguson businesses affected by Sunday night’s riots have re-opened their doors, although many of their windows are covered in plywood.

At Zisser Auto & Tire, owner John Zisser chose to paint the wood covering the business’ floor-to-ceiling windows.

Yet his emotions remain raw about Sunday night’s riots and looting.

"It was just devastating. It took the life right out of me," he said. "Twenty-five, 30, 40 people just walking through and taking anything out they could carry."

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan will be a historic milestone in the vein of the 1970’s Clean Water and Clean Air acts.

That was Karl Brooks’ message to members of the St. Louis Regional Chamber at a breakfast event Wednesday morning. Brooks is the administrator of EPA’s Region 7, which includes Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

The Clean Power Plan proposes cutting power plants' carbon emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030.

(Dice.com)

Missouri was the fastest-growing state for tech jobs the last two years but, this year, it slipped from first to 10th.

The tech career website Dice.com released its report this week. It looked at the highest percentage of job growth and the most new positions added using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ameren is pushing back against EPA proposals to cut carbon emissions from power plants, saying it needs more time to comply.
(Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Peabody Energy is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its proposed carbon emission rules.

The St. Louis-based coal company took part in the EPA’s hearings on the rule Tuesday morning in Washington D.C. The agency is also holding hearings in Atlanta, Denver and Pittsburgh Tuesday and Wednesday.

The EPA’s proposed rules seek to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in the power sector by 30 percent by the year 2030.

Developer Paul McKee outlined his plans for an urgent care hospital at 25th St. and Maiden Ln. in July of 2014.
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

Developer Paul McKee unveiled plans Wednesday for an urgent care facility on the north side of St. Louis, but questions at the press event turned to the lack of infrastructure projects in McKee's massive, 1,500 acre redevelopment area.

Natl GEOINT Agency

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has released the location of six sites under consideration for its new facility in the St. Louis region. 

The agency employs about 3,000 people at its current location at 3200 South 2nd St. and Arsenal Street in St. Louis.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Public Library has renewed a popular program for forgiving overdue book fines.

All through July, adult card holders with late fines can pay with food. Every can or box brought in will knock a dollar off of their fines up to $25. The food goes to the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

The St. Louis Public Library started Food For Fines in 2008. The library's communications coordinator John Koniak said they’ve been amazed at the reaction.

(provided by Northside Regeneration)

A new urgent care hospital is planned within the Northside Regeneration project in north St. Louis.

Developer Paul McKee will announce plans Wednesday for the first big project within the 1,500-acre footprint of the redevelopment zone. Mayor Francis Slay, state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed and state Rep. Penny Hubbard are expected to attend.

Although nothing official has been released, people close to the project say the facility will likely be about 16,000 square feet.

(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

With items on the menu like the Storm Trooper Dog, the Al Hra-BRAT-ski and the Crazy Cajun Creole dog, it's clear that Steve’s Hot Dogs on the Hill considers its fare more than hot dogs.

"I could eat the entire menu," regular Don Schroeder laughed.

He hesitated before ordering but finally chose the Bacon, Bacon Jamaican, a smoked hot dog covered with cheese, peppers and sweet chipotle sauce. 

Maria Altman|St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment and several solar panel companies have filed a lawsuit against the Missouri Public Service Commission in an effort to keep the state’s solar rebate program alive.

(provided by the St. Louis Federal Reserve)

The St. Louis area's job growth has lagged far behind other Midwestern cities and the national average since 2010, but things could be turning around.

The metropolitan area saw 1.8 percent growth in the number of jobs from 2010 to 2013. By contrast, Kansas City had double the growth with 3.5 percent; Chicago saw 4.5 percent, and the national average was even higher at 4.7 percent.

Federal Reserve economist Charles Gascon said St. Louis’ number — about 22,000 jobs over the three years — is a reflection of a near freeze in job growth here in 2011 and 2012.

Courtesy Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

KWS, a German agricultural company, is opening a research center at BRDG Park in the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center’s campus.

The company, which specializes in plant breeding, has 4,800 employees in 70 countries. The new facility will be its first molecular plant research space in North America, hiring 25 positions in the first year and another 75 in following years.

Ameren is pushing back against EPA proposals to cut carbon emissions from power plants, saying it needs more time to comply.
(Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Environment Protection Agency’s proposed regulations on carbon emissions released earlier this month are sparking debate on whether the rule changes will create jobs or kill jobs.

The new rules seek to reduce American’s carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector by 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels. States have until June 30, 2016 to draft plans for how to reduce their average emissions.

(Courtesy Cortex)

The expansion of the Cambridge Innovation Center to St. Louis is taking on bigger dimensions than originally planned.

CIC is well known for providing space and services to startups in the Boston area. It's attracted hundreds of startups and established tech companies such as Amazon and Facebook since its founding by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999.

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