Press Releases

Westfield Robotics Team Awarded at Super Regional Championship

Positive Charge members (l-r) Ashley Rosen, Trisha Mukhopadhyay, Rachael Hé, Julia Hollosi, and Linzy Rosen posing with their Judges' Award after the big win
Team members (l-r) Trisha Mukhopadhyay, Julia Hollosi, Linzy Rosen, Rachael Hé, and Ashley Rosen pose with Danny Bau, an AndyMark representative who helped them immensely with their robot

Last week, the all-female FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics team, Positive Charge, from Westfield High School made history by being the first ever robotics team from Westfield to compete at the regional competition. The team competed at East Super Regionals at the University of Scranton on March 17-19. At the University, the team competed with 71 other teams from the East Coast that represented the top 6 percent of robotics teams in the country. The competitors were divided into two divisions: Tesla and Hopper, named after the famous inventor Nikola Tesla and the revolutionary Naval officer and computer scientist, Grace Hopper. Positive Charge was assigned the Tesla division and competed with 35 other teams. 

The competition was fierce; 72 highly skilled teams were vying for just 34 spots to compete in the incredible World Championships in Saint Louis, MO later in April. At Worlds, teams that have advanced from 4 regions across the United States face the best teams in the nation and from 17 other countries. 

Positive Charge members had prepared heavily for weeks leading up to the competition and had their cap ball lift mechanism perfected on practice fields. However, the team ran into complications with this lift, which rendered it unusable on the competition field, despite their troubleshooting and diligent efforts to fix it. 
The team started off strong in its initial matches, despite their non functional lift. The team’s driver, Julia, had mastered playing offensively by scoring beacons quickly and efficiently and swiftly moving defensively to defend those beacons. The team’s original autonomous had worked perfectly and was able to work in tandem with other teams’ autonomous because the team had gotten help in adding a strategic delay. Unfortunately, the team encountered serious communication and power issues with their robot; on top of this, their program application inexplicably quit on them, sacrificing many matches and forcing their ranking to drop. After seeking help from Danny Bau at the AndyMark booth, the team learned that their wheels were sucking up all the battery power in their robot, which starved the controllers and made the robot shut down in the middle of matches. 

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Even though the team had switched out its wheels for more battery-efficient ones in time for its last match, its final ranking was 26 out of 36. This was still impressive, especially considering the level of competition at Regionals. However, because their robot was ranked lower than the top half, Positive Charge was not eligible to be considered for any qualifying awards. But Positive Charge members were proud of their performance and this positivity was ultimately recognized. Positive Charge was awarded the Judges’ Award, which honors a team that has demonstrated its profound uniqueness to the judges, exemplifies the ideas of FIRST, is heavily passionate about STEM, and portrays special team dynamics that do not fit into any other award category. Out of 72 teams, it is outstanding that Positive Charge was recognized. The team is incredibly proud of this accomplishment and of their many triumphs in this year’s season. 

The Westfield Robotics Club is extremely proud of Positive Charge for representing Westfield for the first time at Regionals. The Club is seeking sponsors to help fund their next season, prospectively the most successful one yet. The Club offers great benefits to all sponsors and encourages businesses to make a tax-deductible donation for a fantastic cause. Please email Sa’id Kharboutli for inquires at

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Scotch Plains-Fanwood School System Alerts Parents About Possible Child Luring Incident

June 15, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ — Scotch Plains-Fanwood school district sent a letter to parents on Friday regarding a possible attempted child abduction/luring at Park Middle School.

"We are looking at this as a suspicious incident because we don't know if there was malicious intent. There was no attempt to follow the boy or physically pull him into the car," said ...

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Meeting on June 12, 2018

June 14, 2018

Board President Gretchan Ohlig presented resolutions on behalf of the Board of Education to secondary school staff members who received awards of excellence this spring. They included Michele Belz and Dominick Ceccio - teachers of special education at Edison and Roosevelt Intermediate Schools, respectively -  as recipients of this year’s Optimist Club’s Intermediate School ...

Westfield Police Blotter: Tires Slashed on Scotch Plains Ave & More

June 13, 2018

June 6, 2018 3:05 p.m.

A resident of the 200 block of sunset avenue reports being the victim of a fraud. Unknown actor(s) utilized victims credit card to purchase an appliance valued at $1,000.00. Victim did not sustain any monetary loss during this incident. 

June 6, 2018 6:50 a.m.

A resident of the 100 block of Scotch Plains Avenue reports being the victim of a criminal mischief.

Help is Available for Suicide Prevention

June 15, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents that trained counselors at NJ Hopeline will provide confidential, anonymous guidance for people who may be having suicidal thoughts, or who know someone at risk.

NJHopeline may be contacted 24/7 by phone at 855-654-6735 or by live chat at

In addition, Union County residents can contact the County’s ...

Westfield 3rd Graders Receive Top Honors at Mock Trial Competition

Westfield third graders recently received top honors for three mock court cases they presented at the New Jersey Bar Foundation Law Fair.

“I am proud that, out of 84 entries submitted, our third grade students (now fourth graders) in the Gifted Program have won 1st Place, 2nd Place and Honorable Mention in the 3rd Grade category [of the Law Fair ...

How Divorce or Separation Impacts Your Financial Life

Undeniably, divorce will have a significant effect on your life and especially your finances. There are around 800,000 divorces in the United States each year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Here's how to enter into the situation financially informed.

Know The Costs Sooner Rather Than Later
It’s never too early to gather information on how much money ...

Maximizing Your Portfolio’s Returns -- Beware the Taxman

The old adage in the investment world is that it is not what you make, but what you keep that counts.  Investors often overlook the ultimate deflator of portfolio returns – the taxman. An astute global asset allocation should be the number one priority for investors.  However, there are preferred ways to distribute this asset allocation over the spectrum of taxable and ...


In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

18 Homes Sold Week of June 3-10 in Westfield and Surrounding Towns

18 Home Sold week of June 3-10, 2018 In Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford

TOWN               ADDRESS                ...

Is Summer Camp the Right Choice for My Child?

Is your child attending camp this summer? Is it their first experience away?  If yes, it can be an experience causing anxiety for you, for the parent and the child. 

This experience can be frightening to your child if it is their first time and it is so important that they do not see your worry or anxiety about leaving home for the first time… especially if it is sleep ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 16

Summer is in the air, and the latest episode of AtlantiCast is ready to help you enjoy some fun outdoors while staying safe! This week’s episode opens with tips for sunscreen usage from Atlantic Health System’s Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller. You’ll also learn about how Atlantic Health System is advancing the future of health care through ...

Bridgewater Mall Shut Down for 2 Hours After Fight Breaks Out

June 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported after a fight involving a crowd of people shut down the Bridgewater Commons Mall for two hours Thursday evening.

According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall was resuming normal business operations.

According to Somerset County ...


Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
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