Thursday morning report, Dec. 31

Five things to know this Thursday morning: 

1.) Happy New Year's Eve. City Hall is open regular hours today, but the library closes early at 5 p.m. Porto's Bakery is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

2.) Very appropriate timing: Kelley Roberts is featured by today in its "Humans of Downey" series. 

Roberts is construction chairman for the Downey Rose Float Association.

"I started decorating floats 36 years ago. My neighbor and his sister were going to come down and decorate a Rose Parade float. I wanted to go. My parents said, 'No. You're on restriction.' So I faked a pout, stormed to my room, closed the door, jumped out the window, then over the fence, met my neighbor on the next block and went to decorate a float."

3.) Downey's float will be judged this morning by parade officials, and will make its way to Pasadena tonight. It's usually towed by Titan Tow and escorted by Downey police. 

4.) The Downey Chamber of Commerce has joined instagram. Still no statement regarding the departure of executive director Gail Courtney, though she has been removed from the staff directory. 

5.) Departing L.A. County probation chief Jerry Powers is set to receive a nearly $295,000 severance. Powers suddenly resigned this month after reports that he gave his alleged mistress a $160,000 job. 

From the L.A. Times: 

"County officials had hired an outside law firm to investigate the allegations of a romantic relationship between Powers and his aide, Kym Renner, before and after her hiring, according to a high-ranking Board of Supervisors aide familiar with the probe who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about it publicly. Powers hired Renner to be the department's top budget and personnel official with a $160,000 annual salary.

"Additionally, county officials were looking into allegations that Powers bypassed the usual background checks to hire Renner, according to county managers with knowledge of the inquiry.

"But the board never placed the severance arrangement on its agenda for public consideration. Members kept the vote tally confidential."

Supervisor Don Knabe declined to comment to the Times. The probation department is headquartered in Downey.