AND THEN AGAIN……… Tamara Pettit

…..The monthly property transfers ran in HOMETOWN NEWS  a few days ago.  I am always anxious to read them because they are a treasure trove of information.   I see that the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle bought Mingo Junction Steelworks for $10,800,000.  I’ve contacted the BDC to see where that property is to end up in the Hancock County property transfers,  One thing I have been told is that when the BDC, it is a non-profit which changes the tax structure.

…….Two structures were sold to  HEJ Capital, LTD. and the speculation is the structures will be torn down  to make way for a Wendy’s.   Hotshots was sold to the parent company for $220,000.00 and Dr. Jerry Linger’s Dental office for $250,000.00.  I’m always intrigued by the concept that if there’s one fast food restaurant it’s a good bet for another.  I’d be interested to see the volume for Taco Bell.  While there are lines for McDonald’s next door, Taco Bell doesn’t seem to be that busy.

…..I am so pleased that the City of New Cumberland has purchased the old New Cumberland Vending building and it will become the new  city building,  Mayor Will White tells me that City Council has offered the current municipal building to the Hancock   Commission for $100,000.00.  He is hopeful it can be done through an intergovernmental transfer.  Currently, the Commissioners pay the City $50,000.00 in rent for the Family Court and WVU Extension Office. Space.

……I’m intrigued with Hancock County’s history but not the kind where we talk about when a town was founded or an industry began.    I’m intrigued by Hancock County’s history in politics and the political underbelly of which I only heard stories when I hung around my Dad’s office at home and at work.  (I was a snoop by the age of 5.)  In my mind the home of New Cumberland Vending was a “building of interest” in that it was owned by Benny Phillips and housed slot machines along with juke boxes and pinball machines.  The slots were illegal and an article in the WEIRTON TIMES from the Sixties referred to Benny as the “slot machine king  of Hancock County. 

,……I was surprised when I did a little research on New Cumberland Vending, LLC when I saw two names I didn’t expect to  see on the articles of incorporation.  In 1958 Benny Phillips was listed as the incorporator as was Sam Minesinger.  Joyce Wilson was listed as the President of New Cumberland Vending.   Sam Minesinger was known to many as the owner of New Cumberland Sanitation  (I believe the Minesinger farm is where Oak Glen was built.)  Joyce Wilson I believe is the wife of current Circuit Court Judge Ron Wilson who at that time was an attorney. New Cumberland Vending was voluntarily dissolved in 1989 which would have been the year “Mountaineer Magic” made its appearance at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming.

…….I started reading back articles in from the fifties and sixties.  One article described when mobster Paul Hankish had his legs blown off by a car bomb in which Big Bill Lias was implicated.  The article said that Benny Phillips said he had begun to carry a shotgun for protection.

….An editorial in the WEIRTON TIMES from that time period noted that Benny stepped out of his league when he opened the Red Dog with Joe Pecora and Vince Pecora and caused the Feds to start looking at him.

…….I’m amazed no-one has ever written a book about all this.   I’m amazed I’ve never written a book about it, but that’s because I’ve never pieced together the entire story and with all the players deceased I doubt if I ever will.