Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

City & State

As the state begins to get a taste of spring, there are more than flowers blooming. Cumberland County has seen impressive growth of its own over the last several years, becoming Pennsylvania’s fastest-growing county by population size. Business is also booming in eastern Pennsylvania, with a new facility expansion in the works to improve the commonwealth’s standing in the semiconductor industry

Keep reading for more of this week’s Winners & Losers!


Alyssa Perren -

Alyssa Perren, a 17-year-old from West Philadelphia, became the first student from Paul Robeson High School to get into Harvard, a feat that was helped by her polo skills – which appear to be something of a family specialty, per the Inquirer. And while Alyssa will be headed to Massachusetts sooner rather than later, Christopher Perren, Alyssa’s father, expects his daughter to bring her “Philly mindset” to the Ivy League school.

Amera Gilchrist -

Amera Gilchrist is set to become the first Black woman to serve as Pittsburgh’s EMS chief, a career move that comes after serving on the city’s Bureau of EMS for nearly 25 years. Gilchrist has been serving as acting chief since Ronald Romano retired from the role on March 31. Gilchrist grew up in the city’s North Side, and has pledged to leave the city’s EMS bureau “better than it is now,” according to a report from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Gilchrist’s nomination will need to be approved by Pittsburgh City Council.

JoAnne Epps -

JoAnne is moving on up, for the time being. Temple University’s no. 2 authority, provost JoAnne Epps, will take over the role of acting president following Jason Wingard’s resignation last month. Epps, who previously served as the university’s law school dean, has been at Temple for nearly four decades, most recently serving as provost, senior vice president and chief academic officer. She’ll remain in the position until the university finds its next president, likely sometime in 2024.


Jeff Brown -

It’s been a week of few ups and a lot of downs for Jeff Brown. The grocery store chain owner, who is already facing accusations by the city’s ethics board of illegally coordinating with a super PAC, may have dug himself into a hole for his answer regarding Philadelphia’s practice of contracting a company to incinerate city trash in Chester during a recent televised debate. His dismissive “Chester is Chester. I’m worried about Philadelphians,” response didn’t sit well with the moderators, crowd and his opponents on stage.

Robert Sanford -

In a headline that’s too on the nose to be scripted, a retired firefighter who threw a fire extinguisher at police officers during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was sentenced this week to more than four years in prison. Robert Sanford of Boothwyn, who worked as a firefighter for 26 years before retiring in 2020, reportedly struck two police officers in the head with a fire extinguisher as he called them “traitors.” The prosecutor didn’t hold back the burn, stating that Sanford was “uniquely familiar with and should have known how much damage” the instrument can cause.

Rochelle Bilal -

There’s more controversy at the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office this week after it was reported that Sheriff Rochelle Bilal’s office allegedly used $500,000 that was originally allocated for new hires, and instead used the money for raises for “exempt” workers. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Bilal’s office sought to have her salary raised to $285,000 at one point, which would have made her the highest paid elected official. Bilal claimed that was a recommendation made by her staff without her input.