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Caught on Camera: Halfway House Spurs Angry Argument

Updated: Tuesday, July 8 2014, 10:35 AM CDT
SPRINGFIELD -- A feud over a halfway house descended into a personal argument in front of our station's cameras Thursday afternoon.

Calvin Jones is the operator of Adulthood Transition Center, a parolee housing program with two Springfield locations - one of them on the corner of South Grand Avenue and 11th Street. His neighbor at that location, George Sinclair, owns several of the surrounding buildings and lobbied Mayor Mike Houston veto two ordinances that would allow the halfway houses to continue operating.

Upon seeing Calvin Jones in the lot behind the halfway house, meeting Newschannel 20 for an interview, Sinclair called the police, saying Jones was trespassing.

"I own this building here, show me how to enter my property," Jones said to Sinclair.

While waiting for police, the two feuding neighbors gave their sides. Jones thinks it's personal.

"This comes down to a property dispute between me and George Sinclair," he said.

Sinclair, who runs a skate park and is landlord for a record store and a music venue, says it's a dangerous spot for a halfway house.

"(Jones) is trying to pretend like 'oh the neighbors around there don't even know that the house is there," he said. "Well we know, but who can we complain to? Gail Simpson, our alderman? Might as well call Santa Claus."

Springfield police say their records show call outs related to both of Jones' halfway homes, on 11th Street and on East Jackson Street.. Jones says it might have just been his parolees calling the police about problems in the neighborhood.

His parolees, he says, haven't caused problems.

"He's putting fear into neighborhood businesses," Jones said of Sinclair. "He putting fear into their hearts about what could happen with parolees."

Mayor Mike Houston, who vetoed the ordinance to allow the halfway house, says it doesn't matter if there have been problems or not. All it takes is one, he said, and then you have a major problem, alluding to the city's other halfway house, House of Rainbow, which came under fire after one of its parolees allegedly cut his ankle tracker and murdered a woman in a nearby house.

The issue will come to a head on July 15th, when the city council decides whether to overturn or support Houston's veto. They need seven votes, the same number the halfway houses got their first time through the council.

For the full footage of Sinclair and Jones's argument, go to Raw News.Caught on Camera: Halfway House Spurs Angry Argument

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