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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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