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Robot readiness
Gregory R. Norfleet/West Branch Times
West Branch High School FIRST robotics team members, from left, freshman Connor Norfleet and sophomores Jacob Koppes and Tyler Siemen work Saturday morning on a second robot in advance of this weekend’s competition at the University of Northern Iowa. The team already has a robot finished and sealed in a bag to prevent further improvements, but the second robot allows them a way to practice before taking the floor for competition, Project Lead the Way instructor and robotics sponsor Matt Cain said. In the four-day competition, the 20-member 5041 CyBear Robotics team will get matched with two other teams — an “alliance” — in up to 10 qualifying matches. The red and blue bumpers in the foreground are swapped out depending on the color of their team, and the team has about five minutes to change them. The competition requires the robots to shoot balls into a basket, climb a rope and move large gears to specific locations. The event has a “steam punk” theme — a throwback to the days of steam-powered machines, especially those inspired by science fiction. Cain expects more than 50 other teams in the competition. (Disclosure: Connor Norfleet is a son of West Branch Times editor Gregory R. Norfleet.)

Less reliance on textbooks? BOE studying it
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · March 23, 2017
Imagine a school district with fewer — not zero, but fewer — textbooks.

McCracken went from fill-in to permanent Friends Church pastor
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · March 23, 2017
Sue McCracken grew up in the Friends Church. Now she’s leading the one in West Branch.

Wider Dawson still after 2nd attempt
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · March 23, 2017
Three West Branch City Council members changed their vote on Monday, but could not overcome the 75-percent minimum necessary to grant KLM Investments a variance for a narrower Dawson Drive.

Schieles send hay to help after wildfires
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · March 23, 2017
The Schiele family, who farms off Buckeye Road in between West Branch and West Liberty, on Sunday loaded up 25 bales of hay to send to Kansas following wildfires there.

Minor injuries from wreck
News · March 23, 2017
West Branch Fire Department responded to the scene after a sport utility vehicle heading eastbound rolled over about 10:15 a.m. on Interstate 80 near the 253 milemarker.

Pretrial set for Kelley
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · March 23, 2017
A Cedar County judge set a pretrial conference for Michael Thomas Kelley, accused of attempted murder, for 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 5.

Rolling damage in crash near Garfield Road
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · March 23, 2017
On March 15 a 2006 Chevrolet Impala that rolled into a gore — the grassy area between a ramp and highway — at 9:30 a.m. near Garfield Avenue/X40 and Interstate 80.

WBHS robotics team heads to UNI
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · March 23, 2017
West Branch High School FIRST robotics team members worked Saturday morning on a second robot in advance of this weekend’s competition at the University of Northern Iowa.

School issues safety note for Foster
News · March 23, 2017
Due to an increase in the numbers of students living on Foster Street and the number of students using Foster Street to walk to school, West Branch Community Schools asks parents and guardians not use the Foster Street parking lot for morning and after-school drop-off and pick-up.

Budreau named to president’s list
News · March 23, 2017
Kristen Budreau, a University of Iowa student from West Branch, was named to the university’s President’s List for the fall 2016 semester.

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