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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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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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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