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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Darby Road's St. Patrick's Day Festival Kicks Off

March 17, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — Darby Road Public House (450 Park Ave., Scotch Plains) kicked off its three-day St. Patrick’s Day Festival on Friday at the municipal parking lot.

The event takes place under a larger tent this year and features Irish bands, Irish step dancers, bagpipers, food and beverages, along with a bounce house, face -painting, and pony rides for the kids.

Mayor Brindle’s Update, Feb. 13

March 14, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Last week’s back to back nor’easters left a wave of destruction that Westfield hasn’t experienced since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Three thousand homes lost power. Over 40 roads were closed due to downed wires and/or trees. Our police responded to ...

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI, Reported Fraud & More

March 14, 2018

March 7, 2018 2:06 a.m.

Carlos C. Mendoza, age 33, of Garwood, NJ, was arrested on the strength of three Westfield Municipal Court warrants ($750) pursuant to a traffic stop in the area of South Avenue in Scotch Plains. Subject was transported to Westfield Police HQ where he was processed and refused after posting bail.


March 9, 2018 2:09 p.m.

A resident of Sandra Circle ...

Edison Intermediate School Presents ‘The Sound of Music’

March 17, 2018

Come see Edison Intermediate School's interpretation of the classic musical “The Sound of Music.”

The final collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, The Sound of Music, has become a play beloved around the world. Based on the true story of the Von Trapp Family Singers, this play captures a personal tale of growth and hope amidst the horrors of World War ...

Charitable Spirit Alive and Well in Westfield Public Schools

Students, staff and parents in Westfield Public Schools continue the district’s long tradition of helping others both in and outside of the community, with a number of students recently recognized for their efforts.

Fifteen Westfield High School juniors and sophomores were honored by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food items for families in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


8 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside

Eight homes sold last week, March 4 to March 11, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside.*


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The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...

Auction Items Sought for Westfield Area YMCA 14th Annual Golf Classic

The Westfield Area Y is hosting the 14th Annual Golf Classic and Dinner with Live and Silent Auction on Monday, May 14, at Echo Lake Country Club in Westfield. All proceeds will benefit the Y’s financial assistance program and help send a kid to camp or child care at the Y this year.

If you have a vacation home or time share, access to a fine dining establishment, ...

How to Stay Connected to Your Partner After a Newborn

March 11, 2018

Life changes instantly once we have a newborn.  It is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences a couple can have. It brings joy and a newfound commitment to the relationship and now to a family of three. Grandparents, family and friends are eager to get involved with helping and visiting. Responsibilities increase, expenses increase and privacy decreases. Our routine ...

Profit from Recent Volatility with Stock Market Bargains

Markets retreated in February, the worst down month in two years. A record surge in volatility caused several ETFs designed as leveraged bets on low volatility to plunge, with at least one being forced to liquidate and hand its investors a near total loss.

The Causes of February’s Market Retreat

The initial catalyst for the sell off was inflation. The January jobs report showed ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
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Health Alert: Child with Measles Traveled to Newark Airport on March 12

March 15, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — If you were at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, March 12 between 12:45 and 9 p.m., you may have been exposed to measles and should contact your health care provider.

The New Jersey Department of Health has issued a public health alert after a child with a confirmed case of measles — a highly contagious disease — arrived in Terminal B at ...