Wednesday morning report, Dec. 23

Five things to know this Wednesday morning: 

1.) In order to place animals in homes before the holidays, the county animal shelter on Garfield Avenue has drastically cut the price of its adoption fees. 

Dogs that have been in the shelter longer than seven days can be adopted for $15. Cats are free. 

For more details, go to

2.) The Downey Fire Department played Santa Claus yesterday to children at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. 

"Downey firefighters sleighed in Santa today on Big Red, delivering gifts for pediatric spinal injury patients," the department posted on Facebook. "Rancho's Julie Helgren has made miracles happen for these patients for over 30 years."

Firefighters also sprang into action after meeting a single mother while on duty.

"Firefighters returned from the call and decided to play Santa, returning with a few gifts to the family who stirred their holiday spirit."

3.) Above is a teaser of "To Dust," a new piece of music that will have its premiere Jan. 23 during the Downey Symphony concert at the Downey Civic Theatre. Tickets are on sale now

4.) A tree will be planted on the U.S. Capitol Grounds next spring in honor of late Congressman Edward Roybal, father of current Congresswoman (and Downey resident) Lucille Roybal-Allard. 

"The tree, a red oak, will be planted on the south side of the Capitol," said the Congresswoman. "I am deeply thankful to my 52 House colleagues who joined me in my request to plant this tree, and to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Rules Committee Chair Roy Blunt for approving this kind recognition of my father and his service."

5.) Downey Federal CreditUnion awarded $8,750 in teacher grants on Dec. 8. A full story is coming later today, but here are the winning educators: 

Annabel Guerrero – district office
Alan Jamka – Downey HS
Ana Godinez – Lynn Pace Elementary
Charlotte Rippel – EW Ward Elementary
Christina Carlson – Downey HS
Erin Hanohano – Warren HS
Anne Honeybourne (awarded two grants) – OLPH
Jocelyn Reppert – Gallatin Elementary
Nekane Erro – Sussman Middle School
Nathan Harris – Downey HS
Carrie Redfox – Doty Middle School
Debbie Dominik – Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Glenn Yamasaki – Downey HS
Jason Redfox – Downey HS

Teachers received grants ranging from $250 to $1,000. Downey Federal Credit Union has awarded nearly $100,000 in grants to educators over the past 13 years.