Acclaimed short story writer and Swoyersville native Tara Laskowski delivers an unforgettable debut novel with “One Night Gone.”

Laskowski will conduct a presentation and book signing at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Arena Hub Plaza, Wilkes-Barre.

After spending a Thanksgiving at the beach with her family, Laskowski couldn’t shake the feeling that, within all the off-season beachy quietness, was a sense that, in the nothing happening, anything at all could happen.

“One Night Gone” explores what happens when an outsider with her own unsettled past chips away at the idyllic beach town façade and reveals the sinister secrets buried below. Readers won’t want to miss this suspenseful novel about power, privilege and, ultimately, sisterhood.

According to Laskowski, the part electric coming-of-age story and part breathtaking mystery, “One Night Gone” is an atmospheric novel about power, privilege and sisterhood.

One sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrives in the wealthy town of Opal Beach to start her life anew — to achieve her destiny. There, she finds herself lured by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies and wild parties. But Maureen’s new life just might be too good to be true and, before the summer is over, she vanishes.

Decades later, when Allison Simpson is offered the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach during the off-season, it seems like the perfect chance to begin fresh after a messy divorce. But when she becomes drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a girl 30 years before, Allison realizes the gorgeous homes of Opal Beach hide dark secrets. And the truth of that long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of all.

Says Tana French, author of “The Witch Elm,” “The strength of ‘One Night Gone’ lies in its all-pervading sense of precariousness: everything is fragile, unstable and under threat, from Maureen’s prized freedom and Allison’s hard-won recovery to the intricate framework of relationships and hierarchies that underpins life in the small seaside town. It makes for a subtly but relentlessly unsettling book.”

“One Night Gone,” published by Graydon House Books, is available in trade paperback original Oct. 1.

A former reporter for the Times Leader, Laskowski is the award-winning author of two short story collections, “Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons” and “Bystanders,” named a Best Book of 2017 by Jennifer Egan in The Guardian.

She has had stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review and the Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, among others.

Her Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine story, “States of Matter,” was selected by Amy Hempel for the 2017 Best Small Fictions anthology and her short story “The Case of the Vanishing Professor” is a finalist for the 2019 Agatha Award.

Laskowski is the winner of the 2010 Santa Fe Writers Project’s Literary Awards Prize, has been the editor of the popular online flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010 and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in writing from Susquehanna University and an Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from George Mason University.

The daughter of Bernie Laskowski and the late Ann Laskowski, of Swoyersville, Laskowski now resides in Virginia with her husband Art Taylor and the couple’s son Dashiell.

Members of the Wilkes-Barre Area Career & Technical Center Practical Nursing Program received their Licensed Practical Nursing diplomas at Hanover Area High School. The Practical Nursing Program is under the direction of Gail Holby. From left, first row, are Aleynel Martinez, Jessica Nunez, Thomas Hennigan, Carlita France, Beth Krushnowski. Second row, Brianne Flaherty, instructor/class advisor; Patty Simyan, instructor/class advisor; Gail Holby, director; Joe Pistack, assistant director. Third row, Candice Karis, Jennifer John, Sara Schuler, Lauren Malarkey, Shlonda Brown, Sarah Fino, Audre Edwards, Alyssa Neare, Patricia Carey, Lorraine Breslin. Fourth row, Laverne Garretson, Nicole Finney, Codie Rimmer, Caitlin Miller, Hope Crawn, Barbara Crawn. Fifth row, Briana Engle, Jeanie Venegas, Brittany Engle, Erin Petesich, Lindsay Lefkoski, Tiyanna Harris, Cynamon Neeb, Malikah Tinson, Shanasha Drumgo. Sixth row, Sarah Trump, Rebecca Miers, Allison Ross, Jordan Siegfreid, Cortney Castner, Cales Owens. Absent at the time of the photo were Vivienne Mills and Sarah Wills.

The MMI Preparatory School Parents Association will host its annual Harvest Bingo on Sunday, Oct. 20 in the MMI gymnasium on the school’s campus at 154 Centre St. in Freeland. Doors open at noon and early bird games begin at 1 p.m., with regular games to follow. Admission is $5.

The afternoon features a $500 jackpot, cash prizes, early bird specials, and other special games. The event also includes a tricky tray raffle, door prizes, and home-made food for sale.

All proceeds benefit student activities and events at MMI. For more information, contact Lani Drobnock at 570-636-1108 or email

More than 60 members and friends of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Dallas recently held a meal packaging event for the Rise Against Hunger organization. The goal was to package 10,000 sealed meals of rice, dried vegetables and protein powder to distribute throughout the world where it may be needed to respond to hunger and other crisis situations. Under the guidance of event chairpersons Fred and Jan Hunt, their mission was accomplished in just four hours. Some of the group posed for this picture outside of the rear of the church while waiting for the delivery truck to be unloaded. From left, first row, are Michael Williams, Beth Zarr, Janet Hunt. Second row, Ken Jones, Nick Teberio, Calvin Baer, Rev. Jennifer Baer, John Baer, Cindy Mulloy, Stephanie Teberio, Cindy Williams, Nancy Thomas, Windsor Davis, Kim Reynolds, Caroline Reynolds, Jim Snyder, Alice Kocher, Don Kocher.

Luzerne County Community College will hold its 28th annual history conference, “The History of Northeastern Pennsylvania” on Friday, Oct. 11, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the college’s Campus Center.

Paul Zbiek, professor of history and geography, King’s College, will present “Slavic, Italian, and Irish Immigration, 1870-1920” as part of the conference at 9:30 a.m.

Other topics and presenters include “Undocumented Fears: Latino Immigration, 1980-present” at 10:45 a.m. by Jamie Longazel, professor of law and society, John Jay College/City University of New York; “Speaking Easy: A Lithuanian’s Search for the American Dream – Living History” at 1 p.m., by Dr. William C. Kashatus, professor of history, LCCC; and a panel discussion, “A Historical Perspective of Today’s Immigration Crisis” at 2 p.m., with panelists Lou Barletta, former Mayor of Hazleton and U.S. Congressman and Representative Joseph Hohenstein, PA House of Representatives, District 177.

The conference is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the LCCC social science/history department and the Luzerne County Historical Society.

For more information on the history conference, contact Dr. William C. Kashatus at LCCC at 570-740-0508 or 800-377-LCCC, extension 7508

The First Primitive Church in Nanticoke donated filled backpacks to students at the Kennedy Early Childhood Center in Nanticoke. The congregation filled 25 backpacks with school supplies, hand sanitizer, etc. From left, first row, are are Luke Dawson and Emma Lokuta. Second row, Ryan Amos, head teacher; Suzie Roach, member of the church; and Joseph Roach, pastor.

The Elmer L. Meyers Class of 1969 recently held its 50th anniversary reunion at the Irem Temple Country Club in Dallas. The event included a social hour, dinner and music by DJs Roz and Bruce (class members). A pictorial memorial was displayed to remember deceased classmates. Class advisors John Glod and the late Nancy Noonan were also honored at the dinner. Special recognition was given to Richard Berkowitz and his wife for traveling from Israel for the celebration.

The Lower Providence Township Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services Department each received a $50,000 donation, for a total of $100,000, from money raised at the Angela “Angie” Salveson Memorial Charity Golf Tournament at the Club at Shannondell sponsored by local waste company J. P. Mascaro & Sons.

Susan Lee Mascaro, wife of Mascaro company president, Pat Mascaro, chaired the Memorial Golf Tournament in memory of her mother, Angie Salveson, who for many years was an active EMS member and who passed away four years ago.

Known for her spunky demeanor and ability to brighten up every room she entered, Angie’s family and the Mascaro corporation felt that the Angie Salveson Memorial Charity Golf Tournament was the perfect idea to combine her caring personality and devotion to golf with the privilege of raising needed funds for two Township organizations that are critical to the safety and well-being of the Lower Providence community.

One hundred forty-four golfers teed off at 11 a.m. Sept. 29 and enjoyed a great day on the links, followed by cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dinner. Helping to present the two $50,000 checks to the Fire Department and the EMS Department were Township Supervisors Patrick Duffy and Peter MacFarland.

Wyoming Seminary opened its 176th academic year by welcoming two new faculty to its Lower School campus in Forty Fort. The new faculty members include:

Nina Cinti, who serves as a kindergarten teaching assistant. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education and English from King’s College, a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Emerson University and a master’s degree in reading from Ohio University.

Amanda McGinty, who teaches fifth-grade mathematics. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Wilkes University.

The Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy was awarded the 2019 Public Relations and Awareness Award from the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association (PPA). The students were recognized at the organization’s annual conference held at Seven Springs Resort on Sept. 21 in Champion.

The 2019 Public Relations and Awareness Award recognizes the school that worked at scheduling and holding various public awareness and community activities promoting the role of the pharmacist, particularly focusing on participation in the Generation Rx and Katy’s Kids programs.

Generation Rx events focus on the current opioid and substance abuse issues and Katy’s Kids brings the message to younger children that medications are important but they are not candy and that safety is important.

Wilkes held six Katy’s Kids throughout the year, as well as had an active presence on their social media sites promoting the association. This group also held Medication Safety events throughout the local community and collaborated with the Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter to create a radio show around safe medication use, disposal and the opioid crisis reaching thousands in their local area.

Points were also awarded based on communications activities with the association through a variety of communications materials, social media posts, and media outreach.

Finance for the Common Good: Activating Strategies of Responsible Investing” will be the topic of the annual Feast of St. Francis Lecture to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 in the Burke Auditorium of the McGowan School of Business at King’s College. Sponsored by the McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility at King’s, the lecture will be open free to the public.

The speaker will be Mary Beth Gallagher, executive director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, a non-profit organization established in 1975 to form and encourage coalitions of business people to align their investments with Catholic social teaching. Comprised primarily of investors in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the organization is also an advocate for ethical and sustainable business practices with regard to social, economic and environmental justice.

Gallagher will discuss examples of issues that coalition members have recently discussed with public companies, including the adoption of a Human Rights Policy to address child labor in the cocoa industry with Hershey, the financing of private prisons that housed immigrants in inhumane conditions with JP Morgan Chase, and the cessation of sales to governments of facial recognition surveillance technology with Amazon.

Gallagher is active within the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and is on the Steering Committee of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a Juris Doctorate from American University Washington College of Law.

The McGowan School of Business is located on the corner of North River and West Union Streets. Parking will be available in on-campus lots. For more information, contact Dr. Bernard Prusak, director, McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, at 570-208-5900, ext. 5689.

MMI Preparatory School students completed community service projects throughout Greater Hazleton to commemorate the third annual Athena Ford ’01 Day of Service.

The Athena S. Ford ’01 Endowed Fund for Community Service was established in 2017 by members of the MMI Class of 2001 to honor their classmate, who passed away on Oct. 23, 2016. This fund is restricted by MMI to be used solely for expenses needed to establish and perpetuate The Athena Ford ’01 Day of Service.

Sixth-grade students, under the direction of advisors Anthony Cusat, Laurie Mele and Amanda Shonk, joined the MMI maintenance department to complete projects at the MMI Athletic Field Complex and Schiavo Trail. Seventh grade students, with advisors Stella Boosalis, Michael Mele, and Jennifer Novotney, did work at the Freeland Little League field and later joined the sixth graders at the athletic complex.

Eighth-grade students, along with advisors Patty Medvecky, Gabriela Moustardas and Christina Spencer, helped at Country Heart Farm. Freshmen, under the guidance of Cheryl Bayo, Timothy Garvey and Kathryn Green, visited Eckley Miners’ Village. Lisa Ferry and Michael Scaralato accompanied the sophomores in cleaning up the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails.

Juniors, along with advisors Syra Dewar, Grete Floryshak, Gerard Pierotti and Vince Vella, conducted projects at Conyngham United Methodist Church, Valley West Little League field and Whispering Willows Park. Seniors, under the direction of advisors Melissa McHale, Sara Myers and Justin Vincent, worked at the Butler Township Community Garden and Freedom Park/Valley East Little League complex.

Following the community service activities, everyone enjoyed a lunch courtesy of the MMI Parents Association.

Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania (RHC) has received a $3,600 grant award from AllOne Charities. These funds will support the enrollment in the Pennsylvania Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) enabling RHC to purchase a Medical Grade Refrigerator for the RHC Shickshinny Health Center in Shickshinny. From left, are Jurgen Straub, M.D, RHC; Patricia Lavan, Grants Coordinator, RHC; John Cosgrove, CEO AllOne Charities; Tiffany Tankalavage CEO RHC; and Bernie Diltz R.N., RHC.

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