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Donnelly makes Peru stop

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PHOTOS BY KATHARINE CALABRO/ kcalabro@perutribune.com SMILING JOE:Senator Joe Donnelly discusses issues relevant to Miami County during his Peru stop Thursday.
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RV CAMPAIGN:Senator Joe Donnelly stands outside of his campaign RV Thursday afternoon in Peru.

Brian Powers - bpowers@perutribune.com

Senator Joe Donnelly’s RV campaign tour took a stop in Peru Thursday afternoon.

Donnelly talked issues such as veteran’s rights, fair healthcare and fighting the opioid epidemic during a short meeting.

As a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, Donnelly said he is no stranger to the area, since Grissom Air Reserve Base is barely more than a stone’s throw away from Peru.

“The mission at Grissom is strong,” Donnelly said. “They just do a terrific job there.”

The senator also had positive sentiments for Miami County.

“Miami County has always been really supportive of Grissom,” he said.

Previously unaware of the false alarm firearm incident at Maconaquah High School earlier this week, Donnelly took the opportunity to speak on safety.

“It sounds like the staff took the right steps,” Donnelly said.

He then spoke on Indiana’s red flag law, which allows for residents to call authorities for persons believed to be acting suspiciously. Donnelly said a main priority in terms of firearms should be chalked up to common sense.

“There are a whole bunch of things we can do to be better,” he said. “The whole idea of that is to be safe in our community.”

Donnelly also discussed the opioid crisis as well as programs to combat it. During the discussion, the recent refusal of a needle exchange program in Miami County was discussed.

“It’s really up to the county, but it’s easy for people to say it enables users,” he said. “Whether they have clean needles or use the same needles, users are going to use.”

Donnelly also said counties with needle exchanges have seen less increases in IV drug use-related illnesses.

Overall, the senator wanted residents to know his allegiances lie with the voters and what’s right, no matter the party lines.

“I’ve sided with the president 62 percent of the time, but am not afraid to tell him when we can do things better,” Donnelly said. “The only people I work for are right here in Indiana.”