Teresa McMinn

Teresa McMinn is the Digital Content Editor at Cumberland Times-News in Cumberland, Md.

McMinn, a 20-year veteran freelance backpack journalist, has authored thousands of articles in publications including Reuters, Lancaster Farming, York Daily Record/Sunday News and the Reading Eagle.

Her work covers a wide range of feature articles in fields such as agriculture, politics, government, religion, sports, entertainment and business.

In 2005, McMinn covered events related to the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, also known as the Dover intelligent design trial.

McMinn’s work also includes coverage of:

Civil rights advocate Yolanda King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.

LIVE frontman Ed Kowalczyk

British rock icon Billy Idol

Michael and Kevin Bacon

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia

Florida’s 43rd governor Jeb Bush

Fox News talk-show host and former Miss America Gretchen Carlson

Pulitzer Prize recipient Leonard Pitts Jr.

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Lou Rawls

Special Olympics athlete and speaker Loretta Claiborne

Bob Blumer, host and co-creator of the Food Network’s

Glutton for Punishment and creator and host of the series Surreal Gourmet

Max Velásquez Díaz, Ambassador of Honduras to the French Republic

Alina Fernandez, estranged daughter of Fidel Castro

Baltimore Orioles legend Al Bumbry

Negro League baseball pioneer Willie Fordham


Recent published work:

Documentary follows the death of a York woman with autism and ALS

Michele DeMeo was given eight months to live in 2010, but she's still alive and educating others.


For the Daily Record/Sunday News

York, PA - Michele DeMeo has a matter-of-fact tone when she talks of her death, which doctors expected to have happened by now.

Without shedding a tear, she describes in detail the slow loss of her abilities to breathe, see and hear.

When she was 15 years old, she left home because she wasn't going to deny she was gay. She tells that story without showing emotion.

And DeMeo, 39, of York, says her autism -- which rendered her socially paralyzed as a child -- is a practical condition that's served her well, allowed her analytical brain to focus on daily tasks without interference from feelings such as worry, fear and sadness.

But beneath her calm persona, a desperate yearning surfaces as she talks between labored breaths of her passion.

While DeMeo can't mourn the imminent end of her life, she grieves for one more day of purpose.

"I was made to work," she said of her existence. "I just want my job back."

She knows that will never happen.

Michele DeMeo moves from a walker to her power chair so that she can move around her home in downtown York. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - PAUL KUEHNEL)

Read full story


Jumping Through Hoops to Grow Cold Weather Produce

Teresa McMinn Southeastern Pa. Correspondent

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. — It just makes sense to grow more food on less land for a longer period of time, said Daniel Yildirim after he learned to shape a metal pole into a semicircle.

Yildirim, of Doylestown in Bucks County, Pa., and about a dozen other folks recently were at The Longview Center for ...  Read full Story

By Teresa McMinn - Reading Eagle correspondent

Dave Rohrbach laughs when colleagues call him the Evel Knievel of the draft horse world.           

Apparently, however, he’s earned the nickname.

Seated atop a wagon, Rohrbach made a thunderous entrance at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center for the Keystone International Livestock Exposition over the weekend, pulled by a team of 10 Percheron horses arranged in a rare pyramid formation ...

Read full story


E-Edition: 12/15/2012 page A01

Lancaster Farming - An edition of the Intelligencer Journal/ Lancaster New Era and Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Untangling the Web of CSA Risks

By Teresa MCMinn, Southeastern Pa. Correspondent

Community Supported Agriculture is more than a relationship between a farmer and consumer. The process to grow more food ... more

Holiday Flowers Still 'King' at Family Greenhouse Business

12/15/2012 7:00 AM
By Teresa McMinn Southeastern Pa. Correspondent

By Teresa McMinn, Southeastern Pa. Correspondent

TEMPLE, Pa. — “Around here, poinsettia is still king,” said Temple Greenhouse owner Dieter Wolter recently of the demand for the holiday flower, especially in vivid red hues. While his family’s business also grows bright pink and purple cyclamen — once popular as a Christmas plant in Europe — the pointsettia still reigns.

Wolter said he can relate to Santa Claus right about now as he and his family prepare to sell the roughly 4,000 poinsettias — including 20 varieties — and other plants they raised to holiday shoppers, local business offices and churches.

Read full story


Photo by Teresa McMinn

Aerial seeding offers light touch for cover crops

Photo by Teresa McMinn for Lancaster Farming

Aerial seeding offers light touch for cover crops


Farmers face a problem when seeding fall cover crops in rain-saturated fields.

They risk unnecessarily compacting their soil.

But a demonstration at this year's Cover Crop Field Day in Holtwood offered an alternative.

Instead of a heavy tractor churning up ruts to spread wheat seed in Steve Groff's cornfield, a helicopter delivered the seed from the sky ... Read full story.

York Catholic grad: "It's God's will, not my choice."

Dustin Rhodes will undergo neurosurgery Wednesday for an aggressive, malignant brain tumor.


For the Daily Record/Sunday News

Updated:   01/01/2013 11:35:21 PM EST

Dustin and Rebecca Rhodes with their 9-month-old son, Michael, look over a 2002 York Catholic High School yearbook Sunday in York Township. The couple met at York Catholic and ran cross country together. Rhodes, a 2002 York Catholic graduate and cross-country runner, will undergo brain surgery Wednesday for an aggressive brain cancer. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS -- PAUL KUEHNEL)

Dustin Rhoades gives his 9-month-old son, Michael, a kiss at the home of his in-laws in York Township Sunday. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS -- PAUL KUEHNEL)


For the Daily Record/Sunday News

York, PA -

A few weeks ago, Dustin Rhodes was a healthy, happily married husband and father of a 9-month-old son.

Rhodes, a Dallastown native and salutatorian of his York Catholic High School 2002 graduating class, worked as an attorney for Florida's First District Court of Appeal.

In his spare time, he trained to run a 50-mile race and volunteered to help others.

All of that changed in early December when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme - an aggressive, malignant brain tumor.

Now, Rhodes, 28, will undergo neurosurgery tomorrow at Duke University Hospital.

Doctors told them in a best-case scenario, the operation will remove a significant portion of the disease,

Dustin Rhodes and his wife, Rebecca (Russo), were voted class couple in the 2002 York Catholic yearbook. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - PAUL KUEHNEL)

and he'll undergo chemo and radiation therapies.

After that, there's a good chance the cancer will return.

Yet despite his grave diagnosis, Rhodes said he's lucky.

"We've been very fortunate and blessed," he said of himself, his wife, Rebecca, and baby, Michael, now living with Rhodes' in-laws in York Township. His parents and brother will also be at the hospital for his surgery. "We're very lucky we have family."

Rhodes said religious faith helps him accept whatever his future holds.

"Each day is a blessing ... God has given us one more day, at least," he said.

"I'm not afraid of dying," he said. "It's God's will, not my choice."

Shortly before Christmas, Jim Rafferty -- a priest who married

Rhodes and his wife at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Dallastown -- met with the couple at a chapel in Danville, Pa.

"I prayed out loud over Dustin," said Rafferty, of Scranton.

"Dustin prayed out loud, too," Rafferty said, describing Dustin

Rhodes as having total acceptance of God's control over his fate.

"He was completely free. I was just astounded listening to him."

Rafferty said he felt strengthened by the couple's religious belief.

"They know very much that this is a life-threatening situation," Rafferty said. "I was just incredibly moved ... I'd like to have that kind of faith, too."

Dillon Rhodes organized a fundraising effort to help his brother,

Dustin, who is on a medical leave of absence from work and has health insurance but faces massive out-of-pocket costs.

"After the surgery, it's really unknown," Dillon Rhodes said.

Before the brain tumor was diagnosed, Dustin Rhodes was never sick, did a lot of volunteer work, was an active church member and spent time helping the elderly, Dillon Rhodes said.

"He was always busy," Dillon Rhodes said, adding his brother has maintained powerful faith in God and despite the medical prognosis.

Rebecca Rhodes said

Rebecca and Dustin Rhodes during a track meet in the 2002 York Catholic yearbook. The pair later married and had a son. (SUBMITTED)

her husband's illness has strengthened their marriage.

"It's really brought us closer together," she said.

The couple's baby, Michael, has been a "bright light through all of this," she said.

To care for her husband and son, Rebecca Rhodes recently quit her job as a program coordinator for a nonprofit organization that helps adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

Her tone of voice carried a palpable air of exhaustion and shock while she described how quickly life can transform.

"There's no cure," she said of the brain cancer, adding the hope is that it will go into remission.

"I've been through hell ... Our life has changed forever, and it's hard to come to grips with that," she said. "But a new life is ahead of us."

To help

For more information on how to help Dustin Rhodes and his family, visit:


• www.facebook.com/DustinRhodesFund .


Carefully crafted cookers

Published January 8, 2013

Lancaster County-based Meadow Creek Barbecue Equipment has built a profitable business making barbecue grills by hand.

By Teresa McMinn - Reading Eagle correspondent

About 30 years ago, Ivan Stoltzfus ...

Read the full article >>>

Copyright © 2016 Teresa McMinn

Accident prompts driving school


For the Weekly Record

    After viewing a photograph that depicts twisted remains of the car Michael Trimmer, his wife and their 5-year-old son were rescued from, it’s tough to imagine how they survived.

    But the mid-1990s head-on collision they suffered at the hands of a careless young driver - which left Trimmer in a coma for two weeks and his wife, Allison, in a wheelchair for life - proved to be a lasting learning experience.

    Michael Trimmer recovered from the crash and found a way to turn the tragedy into a chance to make a positive difference in society.

    He became a certified driving teacher, founded Five Star Driver Training School based at his Red Lion home and today teaches students of all ages how to drive safely.

    The lasting impacts of the car accident are constant motivators in his role as a teacher. His wife suffered a broken neck and severed aorta. Their son Steven - now 22 and a former U.S. Marine who hopes to become a police officer - had his collar bone broken in the crash.

    “Once I get students behind the wheel, I am just all about safety,” said Michael Trimmer, also a former U.S. Marine. He teaches driver’s safety and education at Christian School of York and Red Lion Christian School. He enjoys his job as a driving teacher, and said “It’s very, very rewarding.”

    He also teaches one-on-one, and has worked with students from 16 to 62 years old.

    “I will teach and work with any student,” he said. “I’m very flexible because it’s only me.”

Learn more online at www.5stardrivertraining.com.

photo by Teresa McMinn for the Reading Eagle

Photo by Teresa McMinn

Gentle giants

“Spider Goats”

Courtesy of Randy Lewis | Randy Lewis, spider silk researcher and Utah Science Technology and Research professor of biology at Utah State University, with one of his "spider goats."

Researchers find way to produce spider silk with goat milk

Wednesday April 9, 2014 12:01 AM

By Teresa McMinn — Reading Eagle correspondent  

Lena Schaeffer knows of a lot of uses for goat's milk.

Schaeffer of Dove Song Dairy in Jefferson Township, which milks roughly 95 goats, talked of artisan cheeses, soaps and an increasing demand for not only goat dairy products but meat from the animals.

"There's a bunch of different places at the same time that are looking for goat milk," she said. "You (also) have so many ethnic groups that eat goat meat. It's lean red meat."

But Schaeffer, like many folks around the globe, never heard that goats were capable of creating a product that's been sought by scientists and manufacturers around the world for centuries:

Spider silk.

The stuff is elastic and stronger than steel, and its potential uses include human skin grafts and even lightweight bulletproof vests.

The problem has been producing the silk on a mass scale. Spiders are, well, not social creatures. They're territorial and cannibalistic, said Randy Lewis, spider silk researcher and biology professor at Utah State University.

So farming spiders for their silk has been out of the question.

Until now.

In a few months, Lewis plans to unveil the world's first knitted spider silk fabric prototype made from transgenic goat milk.

And that's big news for experts in the military and medical and architectural industries, as well as the computer chip world.

After many years of research, Lewis added the gene of a golden orb weaver spider to a herd of Saanen goats and found a way to harvest miles of spider silk from their milk.

In working with a Philadelphia professor, he developed a method to isolate the spider silk protein from the goat milk, spin it into a fiber and craft the material into fabric.

Other experts in the field have experimented with ways to generate spider silk, including the use of transgenic silkworms or bacteria to grow the protein. Those methods, however, appear slow and produce limited quantities.

Lewis concentrated on roughly 50 patented transgenic "spider goats" that live at Utah State and produce milk that contains the spider silk protein, he said.

While others around the world have tried to replicate a spider's woven web to create a superior fabric, the Lewis spider goat milk silk will be knitted by Genevié¨ve Dion, an assistant professor at Drexel University and director of its Shima Seiki Haute Technology Laboratory. She's been working with Lewis to create a spider silk fabric prototype.

Dion calls her work with Lewis groundbreaking.

She and her students customized industrial knitting machines to work with the spider silk. Knitting , which uses an interlaced pattern, requires less yarn than weaving, she said. She noted it would require about 60 miles of spider silk to knit a thin shirt.

Dion's lab creates three-dimensional, seamless items, a process that eliminates weak spots in the fabric. So far, her lab knitted one finger of a glove, but she said it's capable of making any garment. She's now awaiting delivery of transgenic goat spider silk from Lewis.

She envisions spider silk manufacturing plants in the future. Dion said she and Lewis are in a race with competitors around the world to produce the state-of-the-art prototype fabric.

"We could be the first," she said.

Mat Haan, Penn State Berks Extension office educator, said dairy goats are less expensive to maintain than cows, which is one of the reasons Lewis said he chose to work with goats.

"The animals are a lot smaller," Haan said, and require less living space than cows.

While Haan said some farmers might be interested in learning more about the potential of raising spider goats in the future, he cautioned such a practice would likely require tough government oversight to protect the transgenic animals from mixing with conventional herds.

"Biosecurity would probably be strict," he said.

Learn more about Lewis' and Dion's work at: