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Scranton police officer dies from injuries suffered in line of duty

SCRANTON — City police Officer John Wilding died from injuries he suffered while in pursuit of robbery suspects on Saturday.

Scranton police and Pennsylvania State Police were investigating an attempted armed robbery that took place about 3:30 a.m. Saturday in West Scranton.

Wilding was critically injured while trying to apprehend the suspects. It all started after, police say, the accused juveniles attempted to rob a Scranton man with a shotgun in 1300 block of Jackson Street. While in pursuit of the suspects, Wilding reportedly leapt over a wall and fell 15 feet feet in the dark.

According to the department’s official Facebook page, Nasir Jones, Tanner Curtis and Isiah Edwards, all 17, were formally charged at around midnight after leading Scranton police officers on a chase that ended around North Main Avenue.

Nanticoke’s newest police officer rewrites history at established department

NANTICOKE — As the city’s first female police officer in the police department’s history, Kara Kroll made history as she took her place among fellow officers.

City manager Andy Gegaris, however, is quick to point out that Kroll was not hired because she was a woman, but because she was the person most qualified for the job.

She fills a vacancy created when a member of the force transitioned to a school-based officer.

Entertainment promoter charged in Friday morning shooting at Passion Lounge

WILKES-BARRE — A promoter and founder of an entertainment business has been charged for a shooting that injured one person inside Passion Lounge on Scott Street last week.

City police obtained an arrest warrant for Ronald Drayton, 46, charging him with six counts of reckless endangerment and one count each of aggravated assault, illegal possession of a firearm and firearms not to be carried without a license.

Drayton was recorded by surveillance cameras bumping Grant before brandishing a handgun and pistol whipping Grant.

In return, Grant threw a punch toward Drayton at which security officers grabbed Grant from behind taking him to the floor. Drayton allegedly fired a shot that struck Grant in the leg before running out the door.

Repeated child rape nets Wilkes-Barre man up to 27 years

WILKES-BARRE — Neither cooperation, remorse nor a last-ditch effort to pull his plea could spare a child rapist from a lengthy state prison sentence.

Shackled and clad in a yellow prison jumpsuit, Gary Machinshok declared his actions selfish and read apologies to his victims and his parents. His mother cried as he begged their forgiveness.

Minutes later a Luzerne County judge sentenced him to spend 13½ to 27 years behind bars for the repeated rape of a teenage girl. He was declared a sexually violent predator.

Police charged Machinshok, 29, in late 2013 and his wife Misty Machinshok, 33, both of Wilkes-Barre, in early 2014 with repeatedly raping a teen girl for more than a year in a scheme to impregnate her and raise the child as their own. The frequent assaults began when the girl was 13.

Attorney Charles Ross, argued his client’s plea of no contest, his testimony against his wife at a preliminary hearing and his willingness to testify against her again at trial provoked his co-defendant’s guilty plea.

Misty Machinshok pleaded guilty in January in the case and is serving a 15 to 30 year state prison sentence.

Former Exeter fire official’s sentence unchanged after reconsideration hearing

WILKES-BARRE — Former Exeter fire official Stephanie McNeil’s theft sentence remains essentially unchanged after a reconsideration hearing.

A Luzerne County judge declined to modify McNeil’s sentence beyond vacating one of two 12-month probation sentences which ran alongside each other, according to court papers.

McNeil, 33, is scheduled to report July 20 to Luzerne County Correctional Facility.

She was originally scheduled to begin serving her two to 12 month prison term last week, but the judge granted her a stay in response to a petition seeking a sentence modification.

The petition said the stay-at-home mother’s children required her care.

McNeil pleaded guilty in May to stealing her wheelchair-bound mother-in-law’s credit card and racking up more than $500 in charges.

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