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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.

June 30, 2014 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park, weather, spray park.

Kasandra Sturgeon plays with her sister Hannah at the Spray Park in Austin Park today. It was Hannah's first trip there.

Dozens of kids were out this afternoon on what may be the hottest day of the year so far. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory, warning of an increased possibility of heat-related illness on a day with temperatures into the 90s and high humidity.

Stay cool and stay hydrated.

May 24, 2014 - 5:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park.

A child is trapped in a swing at Austin Park.

No word on how he is trapped. No report of any injury.

City fire is responding and a dispatcher says, "you may need tools to disassemble the swing set."

UPDATE 6:02 p.m.: The 9-year-old child was in a toddler swing and became stuck. No tools were needed to release him.

April 24, 2014 - 10:29am
posted by Michele Lawson in austin park, free, cookouts, meals.

The warm weather is coming, the cookout vehicle is being readied, and the grills are being tested!!!! Why???? Well, the reason is simple….free community cookouts are about to begin at Austin Park.

Care-A-Van Ministries will begin their 8th summer of hosting free community cookouts and their 3rd year at Austin Park!!!! Cookouts will begin on Thursday, May 15th and run through September 18th from 5 pm until8 pm ---- rain or shine.

Each meal consists of a choice of hot dog or hamburger,potato and macaroni salad, pickles, chips, watermelon and a drink. In 2012, during the first summer of cookouts at Austin Park, 4388 meals were served, and 4936 meals were served during the summer of 2013. Care-A-Van expects that the summer of 2014 will see even more meals served as schools will be closed (no free/reduced lunches for children), as many individuals are still facing economic hardship, and most importantly, many just love to come out and enjoy a warm summer evening of 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, including the Salvation Army, Eagles Fountain Fellowship, Fidelis Care, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Genesee Country Church, Truth Ministries, R2R Ministries, Living Waters Apostolic Ministries, GCASA, and Discovery Chapel have come out on these Thursday nights to share information about their services, their churches, or just to fellowship with those attending the cookouts. The YMCA and EaglesFountain Fellowship generously provided a bounce house last summer which was a highlight with all the children attending.

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. We welcome those interested in serving their community.

Wouldn’t you like to be part of the local missions field????

See you at Austin Park!!!!!

August 4, 2012 - 11:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park, photos, weather, spray park.

Aiden, at 22 months, enjoyed his first visit to the Spray Park in Austin Park today while his family, from Clarendon, was visiting Batavia.

More shots from the Spray Park in today's 90-degree weather below.

The weather prediction for Sunday remains strong thunderstorms.

July 13, 2012 - 4:13pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, Announcements, austin park, cancer victim, benefit.

Jonathan Martinez is a happy, energetic young man who has come across a tough break.

Known by the nickname "Tan-Tan" to his co-workers at Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant (and formerly to his co-workers at Margarita's), Martinez is well liked by everyone.

"He's always smiling," said his sister, Elena Vega. "He's a really humble, amazing person."

Martinez, 24, was diagnosed with germ cell cancer in December. The cancer was successfully removed, and he enjoyed a period of remarkable recovery until he returned to the doctor for a follow-up in March. It was then that he was diagnosed with spindle cell cancer, which was found around his liver.

He is now in hospice at Batavia's Crossroads House. Things are tough, but he has a positive attitude and is confident that he can beat the cancer.

There is a benefit fundraiser for Martinez today at Austin Park, at the corner of Washington and Jefferson Avenues in Batavia. It started at 1 p.m. and will last until dusk. There is no admission fee, but donations will be collected.

Live music will be featured, including performances by Soulcraft and Amos Williams. Jerry Smith, known in local circles as "Honeybun," will be the master of ceremonies.

Donations will be used to help with the medical expenses of Martinez' treatment, which are quite daunting.

"It's really expensive," Vega said. "We haven't paid for anything yet."

Services from the past seven months for which Martinez' family must still pay include chemotherapy, surgery, X-rays, CAT scans, biopsies and blood transfusions (Vega said her brother's cell count is still very low).

Throughout all the challenges he has come to face, Martinez has been sustained by the love he has for his family -- especially his 3-year-old daughter, Jonelis (pictured).

"He keeps saying he's going to 'come out standing like a rock for his baby girl,' " Vega said. "She is his life."

Martinez' faith has also been key to his positive outlook.

"He has tremendous faith in God," Vega said. "We know there's a purpose in this. We're just waiting for a miracle."

Photo taken by Nelle Williams

January 29, 2012 - 9:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park, photos.

It's been a beautiful snowy night so I stopped by Austin Park and took this picture of two trees under one of the lights in the park.

April 30, 2011 - 9:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park.

Earth Day/Arbor Day was celebrated by the city today with a volunteer park clean-up effort and then the planting of a pair of trees in Austin Park.

The Austin Park event included a chance for children to engage in environmentally themed crafts.

April 28, 2011 - 10:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park, photos.

I drove around the city this afternoon looking for a picture of forsythia. One of the first things I learned about growing roses in Western New York was that it's time to prune your roses when the forsythia blooms. I actually pruned my roses three weeks ago, but I still take the forsythia bloom as nature's official notice that spring has finally arrived.

Below is the yellow bloom of a tree -- I don't know the kind of tree -- in Austin Park.

October 31, 2010 - 1:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in austin park, photos, trees.


At this point, most of the trees in our neck of the woods have lost their leaves. Some, though, retain their splendor, including one tree on the north side of Austin Park (Washington Avenue, across from the school district offices). It's a beautiful tree with a fascinating trunk. I took this picture late Saturday afternoon.

October 24, 2010 - 3:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park.

Mercy EMS is being dispatched to Austin Park where a child has fallen off a swing and suffered a possible broken arm.

August 4, 2010 - 12:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park, photos, Night Out.


Community members young and old came to Austin Park tonight for Batavia's "National Night Out," a chance for residents to mingle together, see old friends, make new ones, learn about public safety issues, have their children receive ID cards and play a few games and enjoy some local music.

More pictures after the jump:

July 8, 2010 - 1:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, austin park.

City Police are being dispatched to Austin Park.

The trouble: "Kids are throwing water at each other."

In the words of the dispatcher, "apparently, the parents don't like that."

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