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July 9, 2020 - 7:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, video, austin park, spray park, batavia.
Video Sponsor

Beating the heat at the Austin Park Spray Park.

August 27, 2018 - 1:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, austin park, batavia.

From the city's Bureau of Maintenance:

To all residents -- please be aware that the Spray Pad at Austin Park will be closing for the end of the summer season on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The Spray Pad is scheduled open again next Memorial Day.

Thank you for a wonderful year.

August 31, 2017 - 1:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in austin park, batavia, news.

Press release:

To all residents: Please be aware that the spray pad at Austin Park will be closing for the end of the summer season on Sept. 5.

Thank you for a wonderful year.

The spray pad is scheduled open again next Memorial Day.

August 26, 2017 - 9:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in religion, news, music, entertainment, austin park, batavia.

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Austin Park was filled with praise and worship this weekend for the Here and Now Festival, featuring several Christian music acts and pastors along with dozens of vendors and activities for families.

More than 3,000 people turned out for last night's music and the festival continues today through 10 p.m.

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August 18, 2017 - 2:06pm

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Community Action of Orleans & Genesee hosted its fourth annual Children's Carnival in Austin Park today, with local agencies providing crafts, games and activities for local families.

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June 12, 2017 - 8:37pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia City Council, austin park.

More police presence at Austin Park and less parking on Thorpe Street.

Those are the hopes of two Batavia residents who let their feelings be known at Monday night's City Council meeting at City Centre Council Chambers.

Sandy Merkle, of 6 Thorpe St., a narrow small street on the city's Southside, said all she wants is a sign put up prohibiting parking near the corner of the street to enable her to safely enter and exit her driveway.

"I've talked to the neighbors about it, but they're renters ... and they say, 'we pay our rent,' " Merkle said.

Council members readily responded to her request, with Kathleen Briggs stating that "something has to be done" and Rose Mary Christian adding that "there should be signs for no parking near the corner and also for no parking on one side of the street, and tickets should be given to violators."

Council President Eugene Jankowski noted that Police Chief Shawn Heubusch is "responsible" for handling this matter and has the "authority" to correct the situation without City Council action.

As far as Austin Park is concerned, Sonya Alwardt, of 335 Bank St. said she was extremely disappointed in the response she received from City Police when she called on them to break up a fight there around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Alwardt said she saw a group of 10 to 20 people fighting when she took her 6-year-old child there to play. She said she called the police but was dismayed that it took a long time for them to respond and that the crowd wasn't disbursed promptly.

"I told officers that I didn't feel safe, but was told that they had a lot of pending calls to take care of," Alwardt said. "How is protecting children not a priority?"

At the end of her comments, Alwardt said she would not go to Austin Park anymore.

"It's a shame that you can't bring your children there," Christian said, before asking Heubusch to increase patrols there.

Jankowski said the matter "could have been resolved by Alwardt speaking to the (police) supervisor" on duty that night, and not having to come before City Council.

Councilman Robert Bialkowski agreed with Jankowski and added that Council "needs to set an example."

"If it happens again, there should be arrests," he said. "This is not tolerable."

Following the meeting, Heubusch could be seen speaking with Alwardt.

In other action, Council:

-- Approved a resolution to extend the current sales tax allocation agreement with Genesee County -- a pact that is set to expire next February -- through Dec. 31, 2018 in order to buy more time as negotiations between the city and county continue.

"The only reason we're extending it is that part of the process will require 16 or 17 small municipalities to renegotiate their water contracts (with the county)," Jankowski said. "That could be a major holdup. Just to be safe, we're extending it so we don't run out of time."

Calling it a "complicated process," Jankowski said the city is at the "fact-finding stage" and can't go further until the municipalities reach their agreements. He said the Genesee County is on board with the extension and likely will be passing a similar resolution.

Currently, the terms of the sales tax agreement provide the city with 16 percent of the sales tax generated in Genesee County, with the towns and villages splitting 34 percent (based on assessed valuation) and the county receiving 50 percent.

The contract is tied in to the city/county water treatment agreements as well, which leads to the complications cited by Jankowski.

-- Approved a resolution to transfer $35,000 from reserve funds to replace the message board at Dwyer Stadium, hopefully prior to the start of the New York-Penn League season later this month.

Originally, that money was earmarked to replace seats at the Denio Street ballpark, but Council deemed that the scoreboard was a more immediate need.

-- Commended Doug Cecere for his exemplary performance as a city firefighter for 24 years. Cecere recently retired.

September 7, 2016 - 3:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, austin park, news.

Press release from the city Department of Public Works:

Due to the unusually warm weather this week, the Spray Park at Austin Park will stay open thru this week. Sunday Sept. 11 will be the last day to use the Spray Park at Austin Park for the season.

September 2, 2015 - 11:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, austin park.

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Unnamed, unknown for months, and whose death is shrouded in mystery, an infant who may never have drawn a breath in this mortal world, was memorialized Wednesday night in a candlelight vigil in Austin Park.

There were words of compassion for Christina M. Colantonio, the 28-year-old Liberty Street woman charged with murder in the second degree even as the District Attorney's Office hedges on its claim of sufficient evidence to proceed with a criminal complaint, and greater compassion expressed for the female infant who may have been stillborn, or may have been killed by her own mother, but either way, whose birth was reportedly kept secret, her body hidden in her mother's apartment for about three months.

"Tonight, we're not just out here to remember a life that really didn't have that chance (to make a decision for Christ)," said Pastor Jason Norton. "We're not going to see her pretty face run and skip in this world, and we're not going to hear her pretty voice, and we're not going to experience her here.

"But people, I tell you, she has been received into the heavenlies. I tell you, if you want to know her, then just accept Jesus and believe in him and one day you also will be there and you'll be able to embrace her."

After Norton spoke -- the last of several speakers -- the 40 or 50 people gathered carried their lit candles over to Norton's church in City Center for a reception.

Norton said their candles represented a light in this world to battle the darkness.

"I believe with all of my heart that what we're doing tonight is just not to remember her precious life, and that's why we're here primarily, but we're also here to make a bold statement to our city. We're here to make a bold statement to this region, to this community, that darkness and evil shall not prevail and have its way in this area. Amen. (Amen.) We are making a bold declaration tonight."

Earlier, Pastor Tim Young called on those assembled to pray for Colantonio and her family.

"We're here today to encourage each other," Young said. "We're here to help the family, to give them comfort in this time of need, to help them in whatever we can, to love them, as Christ loves us.

"I encouage each and every one of you in whatever way you can to reach out to this family, to Christina, also, because this lady, woman, needs lots of prayer," Young added. "She needs lots of prayer. The family needs lots of prayer. We need to help and support them in any way we can."

Tammy Arneth, of All Babies Cherished, expressed concern that an expectant mother in the community might not know of the free resources her agency provides.

The agency can help new mothers with emotional support as well as material needs, all for free, but new parents are expected to take some classes through the program.

"It breaks my heart that maybe Christina didn't know to come to see us," Arneth said, adding later, "We had more than 900 visits last year alone and obviously that wasn't enough, because if somebody in this community doesn't know to come to us for services, then we're not doing the job."

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The donated stuffed toys will be given to Batavia PD so officers can hand them out to children who might need the tender care they represent in times of crisis.

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Attendees had a chance to sign cards for the baby's family.

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Pastor Tim Young

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Pastor Jason Norton

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Tammy Arneth speaking.

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Stephanie Armstrong with a closing song.

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September 2, 2015 - 11:05am
posted by Bea McManis in austin park, Batavia Neighborhood Watch, game night.
Event Date and Time: 
September 3, 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:30pm
Only two weeks left.  Join us at Austin Park's soft ball field for a fun night.  If you wish to help supervise the games, please meet at the red Care-A-Van truck at 5pm.  Those coming for the games (adults and children), please check in with Frank Schaivi or Sarah Christopher.  
August 21, 2015 - 3:34pm

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Today, in Austin Park, the 2nd Annual Children's Carnival, sponsored by Community Action of Genesee and Orleans Counties.

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August 12, 2015 - 6:42pm
posted by Bea McManis in austin park, Batavia Neighborhood Watch.
Event Date and Time: 
August 13, 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:30pm
Meet us at the softball field at Austin Park for a rousing game of kickball.  Bring yourself, your kids, your grandma, or a team to challenge others.  Check in with Frank Schiavi or Sarah Christopher when you arrive.  If you would like to be an adult game supervisor, meet us at the red Care A Van truck at 5pm. Thursday night.  Go to the Care a Van picnic then meander over to the ball field to run off the calories.  
August 10, 2015 - 11:01am
posted by Bea McManis in bike racks, austin park, Batavia Neighborhood Watch.
Event Date and Time: 
August 11, 2015 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
The Batavia Neighborhood Project Board will meet Tuesday, 7:30pm  Aug. 11 at the Richmond Library.  The public is invited to learn about the proposed installation of bike racks in Batavia; the Austin Park Thursday Game Night; the possibility of forming a tree pruning public awareness group.  On the agenda is a short discussion regarding a logo contest.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/Batavianeighborhoodwatch/
July 29, 2015 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in spray park, austin park, batavia.

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Colin Hart, all of 1-and-a-half years old, experienced the Spray Park in Austin Park on this hot day for the first time. He was a little unsure of the whole splashing water thing. He was with mom Jill.

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July 17, 2015 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, batavia, austin park, Care-A-Van Ministries.

Press release:

Care-A-Van Ministries hosts free weekly Community Cookouts at Austin Park every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. during the Summer through Sept. 10 -- rain or shine.

The weather is great, the cookout vehicle is ready, and the grills fired up!

Each meal consists of a choice of hot dog or hamburger, potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, pickles, chips, watermelon and a drink. In 2012, during the first summer of cookouts at Austin Park, 4,388 meals were served, in 2013 there were 4,936 meals served, and in 2014 the ministry served 6,426 meals.

The ministry projects to serve 7,000 meals this season as schools will be closed (no free/reduced lunches for children), individuals are still facing economic hardship, and most importantly, many just love to come out and enjoy a warm summer evening of Christian fellowship, music, and a great meal.

Each week, cookouts are highlighted with an inspirational gospel message by a different pastor from a local community church and uplifting music provided by the Care-A-Van Band.

Many organizations have come out on these Thursday nights to share information about their services, their churches, or just to fellowship with those attending the cookouts. These include: the Salvation Army; Fidelis Care; Total Freedom; Cornell Cooperative Extension; Genesee Country Church; Truth Ministries; R2R Ministries; First Baptist Church of Elba; Living Waters Apostolic Ministries; GCASA; Discovery Chapel; Eagle Fountain Fellowship; YMCA; PC Publications; Smoke Free Genesee; Mothers Supporting Children & Families; and the Genesee County Mental Health Association.

Care-A-Van encourages any organization or church that is interested in setting up a table or activity to contact Paul Ohlson at 343-0328 as we welcome those interested in serving their community through the fellowship and love of Jesus Christ. Donations for the ministry can be mailed to:  P.O. Box 1611, Batavia NY 14021.

June 9, 2015 - 12:02pm
Event Date and Time: 
June 14, 2015 - 10:00am to 11:30am

St. Paul Lutheran Church invites you join us for WORSHIP in Austin Park in Batavia, NY on Sunday June 14, 2015 at 10am. Message by Pastor Allen Werk. Patriotic music by E.R. Singers. Music provided by St. Paul Praise Band. Bring your own lawn chair. Celebrate FLAG DAY with us. Wear your red, white and blue.

April 23, 2015 - 8:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park, weather.

Austin Park is a long way from Florida, especially when just two weeks ago, when Cheri Pitcher was there, it was 90 degrees.

"I was surprised how cold it was this morning," Pitcher said while braving the cold and dusting of snow to take her dog for a walk.

It was 28 degrees this morning.

April 2, 2015 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park, crime, pembroke.

Brian Keith Laird, 20, of Wallace Street, Batavia, and Christopher Michael Smith, 20, of Porter Avenue, Batavia, are charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Laird and Smith were observed inside a blue play tube attached to a swing set at Austin Park. Upon investigation, there were found to allegedly possess marijuana and were smoking marijuana inside the tube.

April M. Palmer, 28, no permanent address, is charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument. Palmer was allegedly found with a hypodermic instrument at 2:33 p.m. Tuesday at 29 Summit St., Batavia, by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Chevaughn D. Hanson, 21, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Hanson was allegedly found with marijuana inside his residence after police responded to a complaint of a disturbance.

Charles H. Wroten, 54, of Buell Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant stemming from a third-degree assault charge and showing up at the jail for weekend incarceration with alcohol in his system. Wroten turned himself in. Wroten was jailed on $2,500 bail or $5,000 bond.

Brandon C. Dodd, 28, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Dodd allegedly intentionally damaged the window of his apartment.

Frank Mickey, 70, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Mickey allegedly threatened to punch another person in the face.

Tonya M. Weber, 31, of Baily Drive, Cowlesville, is charged with DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, driving without interlock device, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle and refusal to take breath test. Weber was arrested by Officer Eric Foels following a property damage accident reported at 12:21 a.m., Saturday, at 113 S. Swan St., Batavia.

Ryan James Wetsell, 21, of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Wetsell was arrested following a traffic stop at 10:45 p.m. Sunday on Trumbull Parkway by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Nicholas Joseph Elmore, 26, of Grandview Terrace, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Elmore is accused of stealing $546.76 in merchandise from Walmart. 

Barbara Jean DeNinno, 57, of West Main Street, Little Falls, is charged with possession of untaxed cigarettes, speeding and obstructed plate. DeNinno was stopped at 11:18 a.m. Wednesday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Patrick Reeves. DeNinno was allegedly found in possession of 21,000 untaxed cigarettes. Also charged, passenger Laura Christina Fenty, 46, of East Jefferson Street, Little Falls.

Dillon Austin Peacock, 20, of Whelehan Drive, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, unlawful possession of marijuana and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Peacock was a passenger in a vehicle stopped by Deputy Joseph Corona at 5:22 p.m. Tuesday, Route 77, Pembroke. He was allegedly found to be drinking in the vehicle and in possession of brass knuckles and marijuana.

Ashley Rose Grip, 20, of Whitehall Drive, Rochester, is charged with possession of unstamped cigarettes. Grip was stopped at 5:22 p.m. Wednesday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Joseph Corona and allegedly found in possession of 4,954 untaxed cigarettes.

October 23, 2014 - 11:36am

Care-A-Van Ministries, Inc., a community-based street ministry, has just ended its 2014 cookout season at Austin Park.

These free cookouts were held every Thursday night from May 15th until September 18th and encompassed nineteen cookouts and totaled 6,426 free meals served during the summer. The number of free meals served this year increased substantially over 2013 when 4,936 meals were served. These meals, funded by the generous donations of the supporters of Care-A-Van Ministries, helped feed many children, families, and individuals throughout the summer.

Each week a different Pastor from a local church delivered an inspirational and encouraging message of hope and salvation from the Word of God. These messages were a blessing to those attending and many were able to receive prayer and spiritual support from these pastors and the various church/ministry organizations present at Austin Park.

Also in attendance during these cookouts were The Salvation Army, Living Waters Apostolic Ministry, Eagles Fountain Fellowship, United Methodist Church, Smoke Free NOW, Syd’s Characters, Total Freedom, PC Publications, MSCF, Elba Baptist Soccer, SNAP, Ride2Recovery Ministries, the Mental Health Association, GCASA , Truth Ministries, Fidelis Care, and the YMCA who generously provided a bounce house at the cookouts.

The Care-A-Van Band, composed of community members and members of a variety of church worship teams, performed classic and contemporary worship songs and melodies; additionally, the cookouts were also blessed to have local worship teams and musicians stop by and lend their musical talents to these events.

Volunteers from different churches and individuals from the community supported the cookouts by providing invaluable manpower to staff the food tables, grills, and assisted in the setup and teardown at these events.

The ministry wishes to thank the City Council and City Manager Jay Molino for supporting our cookouts at Austin Park and the work of the ministry in the community as a whole. We would also like to thank the City of Batavia Fire Department whose firefighters were always friendly and helpful during their weekly inspections; the City of Batavia Police Department officers whose professional attitude is a testament to their department; and the City of Batavia Building and Grounds department who always ensured that the pavilion, bathrooms, and gates were ready for our use.

Together we can make a difference in our City and the ministry looks forward to the 2015 cookout season and hopes that everyone had an opportunity to stop by this summer.

Care-A-Van Ministries continues to be out in the community every Thursday night during the winter in different neighborhoods of Batavia with our bus ministry; on Saturday mornings with our prayer, food, and clothing distributions; and Monday through Thursday mornings with our bus prayer and encouragement ministry. Stop by to see us if you are in need or would like to see the ministry in action!!!!

For more information on Care-A-Van Ministries, please visit our website at www.cavministries.org or visit us on Facebook.

October 17, 2014 - 1:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park.

A single complaint of popping sounds, possible gun fire, prompted police patrols to check the Austin Park area last night around 10 p.m., but after a "vigorous check" nothing was found to substantiate the complaint, said Chief of Police Shawn Heubusch.

The caller reported a rapid succession of pops, at least 10 of them, coming from the area of the park.

Police patrols responded and after an extensive search of the area, found no evidence of gun fire.

Heubusch said several people in the area of Austin Park were interviewed and no information was uncovered to substantiate the report.

There were no other callers reporting any sounds coming from Austin Park.

At the same time, there was a report of a loud noise on Walnut Street and a check of the area uncovered nothing significant.

August 12, 2014 - 3:27pm

Mary Repast, Kim Floskowski and Lisa Wittmeyer were in Austin Park yesterday handing out fliers to promote a Penny Carnival hosted by Community Action of Orleans and Genesee Counties.

The Carnival will be in the park next Friday, Aug. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Children are encouraged to bring pennies.

The event is co-sponsored by the Salvation Army, Care-A-Van and Jr. Angels in Action.

There will be games and prizes.

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