5 Things to Know in Florida for April 1

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

Justin Bieber attends mediation in photographer’s lawsuit

Pop star Justin Bieber attended a mediation session in Miami in a lawsuit filed by a photographer who says he was roughed up by the singer’s security. Lawyers say Bieber spent about five hours Tuesday behind closed doors at a law firm with mediator David Gersten, a former judge. Photographer Jeffrey Binion seeks unspecified damages in the 2013 lawsuit claiming he was assaulted by a Bieber bodyguard outside a recording studio. Binion’s attorney declined to say whether a settlement is near.

Judge: Acquitted Florida mayor should be returned to office

A judge has ruled that a South Florida mayor acquitted of federal corruption charges should be restored to his old office. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Gisela Cardonne Ely ruled Tuesday that Michael Pizzi should return as Miami Lakes mayor and also receive back pay and other benefits dating to August 2013. Pizzi was suspended as mayor after he was charged in an undercover FBI investigation into questionable city grants, but a jury found him not guilty, and Gov. Rick Scott lifted the suspension.

Florida county bans beach alcohol during spring break

Following the weekend shooting of seven people at a spring break house party, Bay County commissioners are banning beach drinking in county-controlled sections of Panama City Beach for the duration of spring break. County commissioners approved the ban through April 18 during an emergency meeting on Tuesday. Commissioners also agreed to consider another ordinance in May that would ban beach drinking from March 1 through April 18 of 2016. The county leaders called on Panama City Beach officials to enact a similar ban.

Hollywood homeless advocate moves to central Florida

A man who ran a homeless shelter in South Florida is planning to buy a 125-room central Florida motel where he’ll rent rooms to tenants for up to $24 a day. Sean Cononie ran the Homeless Voice shelter for more than a decade before Hollywood officials agreed last week to pay him $5 million to leave town. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports Cononie took 112 people with him to Haines City. He has a contract to buy a former Howard Johnson motel in Haines City for $2 million.

Grand Prix spectator injured by race car debris

A spectator remains hospitalized after a piece of debris flew over the grandstands and fractured her skull during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The Tampa Bay Times reports that the injury happened as Brigitte Hoffstetter was walking in the concession area near Turn 10 during Sunday’s race. A piece of carbon fiber from one of the IndyCars flew over the grandstands about 100 yards from the track and struck her in the head. Hoffstetter was treated quickly by St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue at the track’s on-site medical unit, then taken to a nearby hospital. Her husband said doctors expect her to recover.

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