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.

Pages

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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Politics
12:01 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Who Will Lead St. Louis County? Councilman Announces Bid For Executive

St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger, announcing his campaign for County Executive.
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley officially has a challenger in next year’s Democratic primary: St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger.

Stenger said he decided to run after a string of controversies in the county.

“We’ve seen, you know, in the health department alone, basically $3 million walking out the door for a phony company,” Stenger said in front of union members and other supporters.

“Well that’s $3 million right there. Over the years, we’ve had quite literally millions upon millions of dollars of fat that has been wasted by the executive branch.”

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Economy
6:38 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Financial Bloggers Gathering In St. Louis For #FinCon13

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

A financial blogger conference now known as #FinCon13 will be in St. Louis Thursday through Sunday.

It was founded in 2011 by blogger Philip Taylor, who also writes PT Money.

He spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman about why he wanted to bring bloggers together.

Taylor said #FinCon13 will have good attendance from the St. Louis area including some local bloggers and online entrepreneurs:

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Business
12:47 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

UMWA, Peabody, Patriot Reach Agreement

Peabody Energy has agreed to pay $310 million into a health care fund for retired miners.
(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

The nearly monthly rallies by retired miners in front of Peabody Energy’s headquarters in downtown St. Louis are now a thing of the past.

The United Mine Workers of America, Peabody Energy, and Patriot Coal announced a settlement late Tuesday night.

The UMWA had been pushing Peabody through its rallies and a lawsuit filed in Charleston to pay for retirees’ health benefits after its spin-off, Patriot Coal, filed for bankruptcy last year.

Patriot had largely shed its $1.6 billion liability in healthcare benefits for about 23,000 retired miners and their dependents.

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Urban Development
3:41 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Strong Discussion But No Vote At Hearing On NorthSide Project

Congressman William Lacy Clay Jr. testifying at a hearing on the NorthSide project on October 8, 2013.
(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

Big political weight was behind two NorthSide Regeneration bills that went before a St. Louis aldermanic committee Tuesday morning, but no vote was taken after four aldermen failed to attend.

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