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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Sports business
5:00 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Can St. Louis Score A Major League Soccer Team?

The St. Louligans, a soccer fan group, formed in 2010 to support AC St. Louis. The group continued to support amateur teams after the demise of the professional AC team.
(courtesy St. Louligans)

It’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday and soccer fans fill the Amsterdam Tavern in south city, a bar known for opening before most people wake up on the weekend.

On this day three English Premier League matches are showing on mounted TVs, but the big attraction is Arsenal vs. Fulham. Nearly everyone has a beer in hand.

When Arsenal scores the bar erupts in cheers.

"Arsenal is pretty popular in this area," explains Mitch Morice, co-founder of the soccer supporter group the St. Louligans.

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Business
5:26 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Monsanto Shareholders' Meeting: Protests Outside, No To Anti-GMO Resolutions Inside

About 30 protesters stood outside Monsanto's headquarters during the annual shareholders' meeting.
Maria Altman (St. Louis Public Radio and The Beacon)

Ten protesters were arrested outside Monsanto’s headquarters during its annual shareholder meeting Tuesday. The arrests happened shortly after the shareholders failed to pass two resolutions that would have changed Monsanto's policies on its Genetically Modified Organism products.

Adam Eidinger, one of the protesters, is also a Monsanto shareholder.

He proposed one of the resolutions. It asked that Monsanto work with the Federal Drug Administration to label genetically modified food.

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Business
4:50 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Monsanto Meeting To Draw Protests Over GMOs

Outside Monsanto headquarters in St. Louis.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

Monsanto is no stranger to battling the controversy over Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs.  Some of that controversy will come to Monsanto’s doorstep Tuesday afternoon during the company’s annual shareholder meeting.

Several groups have promised to protest outside the meeting, where two resolutions dealing with GMOs are likely to be introduced.

One resolution asks that the company work with the federal government to develop GMO labeling on food.

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Politics & Issues
4:54 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

St. Louis Chosen As 'Strong City'

(Via Flickr/Mandalit)

St. Louis is one of seven cities that the Obama administration chose in the second wave of its Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative.

As a result the city will get a full-time federal employee who will work out of Mayor Francis Slay’s office for at least a year.

A team of federal employees and fellows also will provide technical assistance and inter-agency support.

The goal is to push economic development forward in struggling cities.

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Business
4:58 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Ameren To Build Solar Energy Center

Artist's rendering of Ameren's planned solar energy center in O'Fallon.
(Courtesy of Ameren Missouri)

Ameren is planning to add solar power to its energy portfolio.

The utility announced Monday it will begin construction of a solar energy center in O’Fallon, Mo., this spring. Ameren says the 20-acre site will be the largest investor-owned solar plant in the state.

Officials estimate it will produce 5.7 megawatts, or enough to power 650 homes a year.

CEO and President Warner Baxter acknowledges that’s just a tiny slice of the power generated by Ameren, which serves 1.2 million customers.

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Danforth Plant Science Center
5:34 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Danforth Plant Science Center Growing With New Researchers

(Courtesy of the Danforth Plant Science Center)

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announced Friday it has hired four new lead researchers.

Each of the new hires will have a team of at least another 10 scientists working for them, which means the research center could soon add an additional 40 new positions.

Danforth president Jim Carrington says the new scientists will focus on new technologies such as robotics, as well as bolstering the center’s existing research.  

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Church Sex Abuse
4:16 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Judge Orders Archdiocese To Release Records

Archdiocese of St. Louis chancery.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated Jan. 13, 2014:

The legal back-and-forth over the release of the names to the plaintiff continues. The state Supreme Court today blocked the Archdiocese from having to comply with Dierker’s order until further notice.

Updated Jan. 10, 2014:

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

Flu Cases On The Rise - Young People Hard Hit

Credit (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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