KWMU: Maria Altman

Altman came to St. Louis Public Radio from Dallas where she hosted All Things Considered and reported north Texas news at KERA. Altman also spent several years in Illinois: first in Chicago where she interned at WBEZ; then as the Morning Edition host at WSIU in Carbondale; and finally in Springfield, where she earned her graduate degree and covered the legislature for Illinois Public Radio.

A native Iowan, Altman earned her bachelors degree in journalism at the University of Iowa. She remains a devoted Hawkeye. In her free time, Altman likes hiking, swing dancing, and searching for the perfect diner.

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The St. Louis Rams had a tough football season, tying for the worst record in the NFL. This months' hiring of a new head coach, Jeff Fisher, created a sense of hope. But there are lingering concerns among fans about whether the team will stay in St. Louis.

St. Louis, Mo. – The Missouri Association of the Deaf and 13 deaf residents have filed suit against the Missouri Department of Mental Health. The lawsuit, filed in federal court today, claims the department has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing mental health services to the deaf.

The plaintiffs say the department needs to hire more qualified sign language interpreters and train psychiatrists and other therapists about deaf culture.

St. Louis, Mo. – Missouri has led the nation in the number of methamphetamine labs seized each year since 2001. Now several small towns in the state are attempting to curb the drug's production by making a key ingredient - pseudoephedrine - more difficult to get. Four towns and one county now require a prescription for cold medications such as Advil Cold and Sinus. But as St. Louis Public Radio's Maria Altman reports, some municipal officials say meth labs won't go away until the state passes a prescription-only law.


Jefferson City, Mo. – If you pay personal income tax in Missouri chances are you're in the top tax bracket. It takes only $9000 in taxable income a year to reach the state's top tier. State lawmakers set the tax brackets back in 1931 and they haven't changed since. Now some say Missouri's tax system is due for an update; both to address the basic issue of fairness and a growing budget hole in Jefferson City.

St. Louis Public Radio's Maria Altman reports.

Kansas City, MO – A recently-released study says Missouri's Public Defender system is "heading for disaster."

The study finds Missouri is last in per capita expenditure compared to other state public defender systems. Researchers also say Missouri's public defenders often have twice as many cases as the maximum recommended caseload.

Robert Spangenberg heads up the group that did the study. He says the state's system has been seeking relief for years.

St. Louis, MO – It's the 25th year of Parents As Teachers, an early childhood program that began in Missouri.

It was the first of its kind when it began, and now Parents As Teachers is in every state and several countries.

Yet while the program is celebrating its anniversary, it's also facing a 10% cut in state funding from its home state.

Listen to the story here.

St. Louis, MO – In Missouri, homeowners get at least 20 days notice when banks decide to foreclose. Not so for renters.

When a landlord loses a property tenants often don't learn they have to move until a court summons arrives.

Legislation making its way through the Missouri General Assembly would help renters, but Maria Altman tells us that some groups say more notice is needed.

If a tenant is concerned that their landlord may default on his/her mortgage there are steps the tenant can take to find out.