5. Alcohol sales put to the vote
To allow the sale of alcoholic beverages, or not to allow it? That was the question four Tri County cities put to the ballot in February and March of this year.
The results from the local option elections were mixed. The answer was “yes” in Corbin and Williamsburg, while it was “no” in Barbourville and London.
Barbourville was the first to vote, with their election held Feb. 7. The city has been dry for decades, and the question was to allow sales of beer, wine and liquor by the package, and by the drink in restaurants.
Voters in that city said “No.”
4. PFC Napier dies in Afghanistan
The death of Private First Class Dustin P. Napier stunned the region in January.
A London resident and 2010 graduate of South Laurel High School, Napier was serving in the U. S. Army in Afghanistan when he died Jan. 8 in Zabul province of injuries he suffered from enemy fire.
Napier was deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011 for a one-year tour of duty. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
3. Drugs remain a problem in region
As in years past, the scourge of drugs continued to blur the landscape of the Tri-County. But in 2012, one major problem knocked at the door. It was the use and sale of what was called “synthetic drugs,” such as synthetic marijuana, or being sold as “bath salts.”
2. Dewayne Bunch dies
On July 11, former State Rep. Dewayne Bunch (R-82nd), who suffered a serious head injury while breaking up a high school fight April 12, 2011, died at Oak Tree Hospital in Corbin. He was 50 years old, and was the husband of current 82nd District Rep. Regina Bunch. Together, they had three daughters.
Dewayne Bunch was also a math and science teacher for 17 years at Whitley County High School. He served with the Kentucky National Guard for 23 years and led the Mountain Warriors in Iraq, serving as First Sergeant.