York County happenings: News from PennDOT, York City, Catholic diocese

Staff report


Expiration dates extended

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has extended expiration dates for various services amid the coronavirus crisis.

PennDOT said on Friday expiration dates have been extended to May 31 for driver licenses, identification cards, learner’s permits, persons with disability placards, vehicle registrations and safety/emission inspections.

All driver’s and photo license centers remain closed for counter service until further notice.

Individuals can access the state’s driver and vehicles services website at www.dmv.pa.gov.

Devyn Smith, of Harrisburg, skates at Reid Menzer Memorial Skate Park in York City, Friday, May 19, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

York City

Playgrounds, skate park off limits

York City has implemented several restrictions at its parks as confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to spike statewide.

Effective immediately, playground equipment, skateboarding facilities and basketball courts will be closed to the public, according to a Friday news release. Parks themselves, however, will remain open to encourage exercise and activity.

Amid school and businesses closures mandate by Gov. Tom Wolf, the city has seen increased gatherings at skate parks, the release states. 

"Restricting access to playground equipment is important as children could potentially be exposed to coronavirus on hard surfaces through increased gathering, and through high-contact sports," the release states.

Per recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the city has urged residents to stay 6 feet apart to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Catholic diocese

No Masses for Holy Week, Easter

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg will not hold public Masses for Palm Sunday, Holy Week or Easter amid the coronavirus outbreak, Bishop Ronald Gainer said on Thursday.

“Please know the impact of this announcement is not lost on me. I too am deeply hurting by not being able to gather with the faithful for the celebration of Mass,” Gainer said in a statement. “Although we cannot come together for public Masses during this holiest time of year, our priests will celebrate Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Masses. 

“Many of our Parishes are live streaming these Masses and I encourage the faithful to participate in Mass through these online means.”

On March 17, Gainer suspended all daily and weekend Masses for Catholics in the diocese.

Real ID

Deadline pushed back

President Donald Trump said last week the Oct. 1 deadline for obtaining a Real ID card would be delayed again after the coronavirus outbreak.

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security announced the new deadline is Oct. 1, 2021.

Congress initially passed the Real ID Act in 2005 in response to the 9/11 attacks, but it received pushback from states including Pennsylvania, Maine and South Carolina, which delayed the official rollout of the act's enforcement for years.

Real ID eventually will be required of all U.S. residents to board domestic flights and access many military installations. A passport or other federal identification will also be acceptable.

Pennsylvania residents who want a Real ID must provide proof of current address, a Social Security card and proof of identification, such as a passport or birth certificate, if they received their first Pennsylvania drivers’ license before September 2003.


Couple identified

The York County Coroner’s Office has identified the elderly Windsor Township couple who died Wednesday in a murder-suicide.

Robert Heard, 83, shot his wife, 80-year-old Carol, in the head before turning the gun on himself, the coroner’s office stated in a Thursday news release.

Their bodies were discovered around 11:40 a.m. Wednesday. At the scene, police and the coroner’s office learned the couple had been having health issues, the release notes.

Robert Heard’s death was ruled a suicide, and Carol Heard’s death as a homicide. There will be no autopsies, the coroner’s office stated.