Press Releases

Westfield Robotics Team ‘Positive Charge’ Makes History

Positive Charge members on the drive team discuss robot strategy before their match begins.

On Sunday, February 26, Westfield FTC Robotics team Positive Charge competed at the New Jersey State Championships at West-Windsor Plainsboro North High School against over 20 of the most skilled teams in the state. Positive Charge was not only equipped with a reliable beacon-scoring device, it had perfected its capball lifting mechanism after much hard work and time. The team had created an effective ball carriage to lift the cap ball during endgame, when lifting of the capball is permitted; if the ball is lifted 30 inches or more off the ground, teams can score ample points. Utilizing wood to create a carriage that would grip the ball, the team attached it to drawer-slides that could elevate the ball when activated by servos in the team’s code.

Positive Charge incurred many victories on the playing fields. Its robot was successful in both defensive and offensive scoring tactics with beacons. Positive Charge’s experienced driver had acquired the skills for speed and was able to score beacons right before the buzzer and block other teams legally from scoring. During off field testing, the team did discover, however, that their capball mechanism was too slow; endgame is only 30 seconds and that is approximately how long it took their lift to elevate the capball, making it unlikely that it would be successful on the field in raising the ball high enough before time ran out. This did not interfere with Positive Charge’s performance because it was paired with allies that could use the capball in their endgame, so Positive Charge was able to focus intently on scoring beacons, which allowed them to win a majority of their matches.

At the end of their intense matches, Positive Charge was ranked impressively in 5th place but was still not chosen to compete in the Alliance Matches. However, the team was still eligible for awards from the judges. The judges announced that Positive Charge had been awarded the Think Award, an award the team had now won for the 3rd time this season, a truly impressive feat. Positive Charge won this ward for their highly organized and detailed Engineering Notebook. Their notebook is color coded, organized by section, includes a business plan, a Highlights Page, and a myriad of other striking features that stick out from other teams. The Think Award, while incredibly prestigious, is not an award that allows a team to advance to the next level of competition. However, because many teams were apart of the winning alliance that allows them to advance automatically, and won other awards that allowed them to advance (Inspire Award, PTC Design Award, etc), the overlap enabled judges to select teams who won other awards. This allowed judges to choose Positive Charge to advance to the next phase of competition, Super Regionals, for the first time any team in Westfield’s history. No other Westfield team has ever advanced to Regionals. The members’ effort and hard work on the robot and notebook was clear and ultimately brought the team immense success.

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Positive Charge is excited to represent Westfield for the first time at this stage of rigorous competition. Positive Charge is one of 10 teams in New Jersey to advance to Super Regionals out of the 48 teams that competed in New Jersey State Championship competitions. The team will be competing against 74 teams from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia later this month. Positive Charge will face the region’s best at the East Super Regional Competition hosted at the University of Scranton in Scranton, PA on March 17-19.

In order to help fund the team as it prepares for the competition and to fund the Club for the coming season, the Westfield Robotics Club is seeking sponsorships. The Club urges businesses to make a tax- deductible donation to support youth and women in STEM.

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Update: Driver Escapes Icy River After Car Goes Off GSP Near Clark/Cranford Border

March 21, 2018

This story was updated at 11:40 a.m. Thursday.

CLARK, NJ — A car went off the road and into the river on the northbound Garden State Parkway between the Clark and Cranford exits during Wednesday night’s snow storm.

According to Clark’s chief of police, Pedro Matos, the car’s driver managed to escape the water — divers went into the river and determined the car ...

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Meeting on March 19

March 22, 2018

Following the board announcements, I noted the increased police presence at each of our ten schools, thanking the town and police department for their efforts.  I also noted that we’ve been working on updating our crisis communication plan in light of today’s climate of instant communication.

Board president Gretchan Ohlig thanked the mayor and police chief for working with ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve


Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM


March for Our Lives - Westfield

Government Law & Justice

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice

Westfield Police Blotter: More Than $2K Worth of Items Reported Stolen from Business, & More

March 21, 2018

March 11, 2018 6:42 p.m.

Marion Bethea, age 56, of Roselle, was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for her arrest from Columbia Municipal Court in the amount of $500 pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was processed and released on recognizance.


March 16, 2018 11:16 a.m.

Blas Barquin, age 34, of Cranford, NJ, was arrested on the strength of an outstanding ...

Enjoy 5 Engaging Films at the Spring Jewish Film Festival of Central NJ

March 22, 2018

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'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

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Sixteen homes sold last week, March 11 to March 18, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford:*


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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

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Financially Savvy Charitable Giving: Donor-Advised Funds

Americans are known to be philanthropic, with an estimated 83% donating to charitable causes. Making the donation convenient and tax-effective is a win-win for both charities and those with a generous heart. Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are a simplistic funding structure available to those with both small and large charitable giving pots.  

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Suspended Hillsborough HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 19, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ — Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years, had been ...