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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Bridgeton Landfill
6:27 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Mo. Dept. Of Natural Resources Asks For 'Legal Action' Related To Bridgeton Landfill

An underground fire has been smoldering at the Bridgeton landfill for more than 2 years.
(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated on Friday, March 22 at 9:45 a.m. to add information about air sampling results, and a statement from Republic Services.

The Missouri Department of Resources is asking the state’s attorney general to enforce environmental laws at the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill.

DNR’s letter asks Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to "institute appropriate legal action to resolve any past, present or future environmental violations" at the landfill.

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MO Statehouse
11:40 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Mo. Auditor Questions Welfare Expenses In Audit

(via Flickr/-Marlith-)

Updated 2:48 p.m.

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is questioning millions of dollars of welfare payments made to low-income residents.

Schweich released an annual audit Tuesday examining Missouri's use of $12.7 billion of federal funds during the 2012 budget. He raised concerns about $68 million of expenses, mainly through programs run by the Department of Social Services.

(We have the full audit for you below)

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Features
4:26 am
Fri March 15, 2013

St. Louis Company May Have Answer To Ending Meth Labs

Zephrex-D is produced by Westport Pharmaceuticals, a suburban St. Louis company. Westport officials say the pseudoephedrine product is tamper-resistant, meaning it cannot be used to make meth.
(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

Not many of us are chemists.

Yet by removing one oxygen atom average people here in Missouri regularly are turning common decongestants like Sudafed and Claritin-D into the illicit drug methamphetamine.

Nationwide those explosive mom and pop meth labs were estimated by a Rand study to cost taxpayers more than $23 billion a year in health care costs, child endangerment and clean-up.

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Illinois Gambling
2:14 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Gambling Expansion Gets Second Quinn Veto

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting in part from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky. Last update 4:04 p.m.

Legislation to expand gambling the General Assembly approved nearly two years ago is finally dead. Governor Pat Quinn vetoed a measure that would have given Illinois five new casinos.

When Governor Quinn gives his annual budget address later this week, he's expected to highlight Illinois' plethora of financial problems.

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Features
6:39 am
Mon February 25, 2013

While Northside Waits, Clemens House Crumbles

The Clemens House was built by Mark Twain’s uncle James Clemens and completed in 1860. Developer Paul McKee bought the property in 2005.
(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

A huge redevelopment project on St. Louis’ north side has been in a holding pattern for years.

A lawsuit challenged the city’s authorization of millions of dollars in tax incentives for the 1,500-acre development “Northside Regeneration.”

The Missouri Supreme Court could rule on the case as early as Tuesday.

But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman reports, the years of waiting for work to begin have left questions about whether developer Paul McKee can really pull off his expansive plan.

The Mark Twain Connection

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Around St. Louis
4:10 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

If You Notice The 'BUDWEISER' Sign Gone Next Week, Here's Why

The famous "Budweiser" sign atop the Anheuser-Busch Bevo Building is set to come down on Monday - but only for a few weeks.
(via Flickr/darastar)

The famous “Budweiser” sign on the St. Louis brewery will start to come down on Monday.

But, have no fear - a new, brighter one will replace it in a few weeks.

The current sign on Anheuser-Busch’s Bevo Building has been up since 1979.

General Manager Jeff Pitts says it was getting susceptible to bad weather.

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Abortion Law
1:16 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

St. Louis Groups Mark 40th Anniversary Of Roe v Wade

Planned Parenthood demonstrators and St. Louis' Cathedral Basilica.
(via Flickr)

Tuesday is the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion.

Groups on both sides of the controversial issue will be marking the day.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis was the first Catholic diocese to organize a Pro Life committee just 6 weeks after the famous court ruling.

Today that committee is called the Respect Life Apostolate.

Executive Director Karen Nolkemper says the Archdiocese will focus on commemoration of the un-born  and recommitting to ending abortion.

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shooting
2:49 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Charges Filed Related To Stevens Institute Of Business & Arts Shooting

Sean Johnson, pictured here in this 2012 mug shot, has been charged in relation to the shooting that occurred at Stevens Institute of Business & Arts on Jan. 15.
(St. Louis County Police Department)

Updated at 3:35 p.m. on 1/16/13

The St. Louis circuit attorneys's office has identified the shooter at the Stevens Institute of Business and Arts as 34-year-old Sean Johnson, a male from the city of St. Louis. He faces three felonies and a misdemeanor in connection with the shooting of Greg Elsenrath, the financial aid director at the school. The charges are:

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Missouri's Second Injury Fund
5:09 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Confirmed: Missouri Fund For Disabled Workers Can't Pay The Bills

(via Flickr/LarimdaME)

A report released Friday morning confirmed what many have already known: that Missouri's fund for disabled workers is broke.

Republican Auditor Tom Schweich found that Missouri's Second Injury Fund has $28 million in unpaid obligations, but only had $3 million at the end of 2012.

The fund covers workers' compensation claims for employees who have previous injuries or disabilities and then suffer a new job-related injury.

Schweich says the state is facing several lawsuits demanding immediate payment on claims that have been delayed.

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Crime
7:29 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Autopsy Results In For Mother Found In Car

Credit St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Police Department will take part in an investigation into who killed Ebony Jackson, the mother of a baby found early Friday morning in Breckenridge Hills.

Jackson's body was in the trunk of her car Tuesday, which was located in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that an autopsy performed Wednesday revealed that Jackson was shot in the head.  

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