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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Other News
4:38 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

DSS Contractor Mistakenly Mails Personal Info

Andrew Taylor Flickr

Personal information for more than 25,000 Missourians in the state’s managed health plan went out to the wrong mailing addresses.

The Department of Social Services announced Monday that one of its MO HealthNet  contractors, Infocrossing Inc., sent the information out between December 2009 and June of this year.

It included full social security numbers for at least half of the people affected, and the last four digits for the rest.

MO HealthNet, the state’s Medicaid program under DSS, has sent out written notices to those affected by the mailing error.

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Law/Crime
1:50 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Gun Court Legislation Likely

Mo. Attorney General Chris Koster.
(Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

The push for a special gun court in St. Louis is likely on its way to Jefferson City.

Law enforcement, prosecutors, and politicians attending the Urban Crime Summit in St. Louis Thursday said they will not let the plan die.

City judges voted Monday 16-11 against adopting an Armed Offender Docket in St. Louis.

But the message during the Urban Crime Summit was clear, judges should either get on board or they can expect a law will be passed requiring them to do so.

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Other News
11:49 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Crime Summit Begins In St. Louis

St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson speaks at the Urban Crime Summit on September 18, 2013.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Urban Crime Summit organized by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster came to St. Louis Wednesday.

The four-day gathering of law enforcement and criminology experts began in Kansas City Monday and is scheduled to continue at Saint Louis University’s School of Law through Thursday.

In his opening remarks, Koster told those gathered that 105 murders in Kansas City last year and 113 in St. Louis were too many.

"The fact that we are here is a statement that we do not accept this violence as the status quo," he said.

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Business
4:34 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

KV Emerges From Bankruptcy

Flickr

KV Pharmaceutical Company announced Monday that its reorganization plan is in effect, and it has emerged from bankruptcy.

Based in Bridgeton, the company filed for bankruptcy Aug. 4, 2012.

KV is primarily focused on women’s healthcare, but the company has had struggles in recent years.

That includes a failed lawsuit against the FDA, which refused to prevent competitors from selling a much lower cost version of Makena.

KV initially charged as much as $1,500 for a dose of Makena, which is meant to  reduce the risk of premature births.

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Metro East
3:37 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Metro East Law Enforcement Targets Armed Robbers

U.S. Attorney for the District of Southern Illinois Stephen Wigginton is surrounded by local Metro East law enforcement officials as he announced a new initiative targeting armed robbery
Maria Altman St. Louis Public Radio

Federal, state and local law enforcement in the Metro East are zeroing in on armed robberies with a coalition similar to the Major Case Squad.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Stephen Wigginton is spearheading the effort to go after a spate of what he called "brazen and violent" armed robberies this summer.

Wigginton said prosecutors will go after offenders with federal charges that often carry longer sentences.

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Business
9:49 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Northside Regeneration Moves Forward To Board Of Aldermen

Paul McKee.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Tax Increment Financing Commission voted to activate the last two phases of the Northside Regeneration project Wednesday morning, which has more than $190 in TIF funding.

Six commissioners voted yes with one, Ken Hutchinson, abstaining.

It now will move to the Board of Aldermen where the Housing, Urban Development, and Zoning committee likely will hear it.

Paul McKee told the TIF Commission at the meeting he has two major industrial users interested in moving into the area bringing a total of 250 jobs.

"TIF helps recruit jobs," McKee said.

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St. Louis Public Schools
11:32 am
Wed September 4, 2013

State Audit Finds Issues In St. Louis Public Schools

comedy_nose Flickr

Updated 1:20 p.m.

The Missouri state auditor gave the St. Louis Public Schools a “fair” rating in an audit of the district released Wednesday.

Auditor Tom Schweich, a Republican, said the district was not initially cooperative with his office.

Superintendent Kelvin Adams, who also attended Wednesday’s press conference, said the audit got off to a “rocky” start because the district did not initially believe Schweich had the authority to do the performance audit.

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Politics
2:40 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

The Syria Situation: A Conversation With Wash. U Expert

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about the developing situation in Syria on August 30, 2013.
(State Department Video)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that 1,429 Syrians were killed by chemical weapons in an attack by the Assad regime on August 21.

While Kerry said the question is not over evidence but what the United States and the international community will do about it, President Barack Obama said he had made no decisions yet.

Professor Krister Knapp, a senior lecturer in the Department of History in Arts & Sciences at Washington University, says if the president asks Congress to weigh in, he may not get the support he wants.

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Ride Of The Century
4:03 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Law Enforcement Ramps Up For Street Bike Event

(via Flickr/DeusXFlorida)

Updated September 3 with arrest data.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police say 47 bikers were arrested over the four-day ride, most for reckless driving and other traffic charges. Fifty-eight motorcycles were towed. The busiest day was August 29, when 23 bikers were arrested and 24 motorcycles towed. There were no arrests or bikes towed on August 31.

Our original story:

More than 3,000 street bikes are expected to descend on the St. Louis region this weekend as part of the annual Streetfighterz Ride of the Century.

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Arts & Culture
11:48 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream Speech Commemorated In Kiener Plaza

Byron Blackmon of Arkansas reenacts Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Tim Lloyd St. Louis Public Radio

A small crowd gathered at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis on Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech.

The event was put together by the recently founded St. Louis Reconciliation Network, which has the mission of bridging racial divides through the collaboration of religious leaders.  

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