Five things that happened in New Jersey this week

    Solar energy got a boost, Cooper Medical School opened its doors, and parrot-heads descended on Atlantic City — and it all happened this week in New Jersey.

    Are we missing any stories? What happened in yourcommunity this week? Tell us in the comments below.

    Sun still shining on the future of solar energy in New Jersey

    The price of solar renewable energy credits has been falling, but Gov. Christie signed legislation this week aimed at stopping the free fall. The new law will increase the amount of solar-generated electricity N.J. utilities are required to purchase. Only California has built more solar projects than New Jersey. Environmental groups say the state’s solar industry could have collapsed without the new law.

    Judges exempt themselves from paying more

    New Jersey’s supreme court ruled this week that judges do not have to contribute more to their pensions and healh-care benefits. The decision came in response to a law passed last year requiring increased contributions by hundreds of thousands of state workers. The court determined that this is effectively a decrease in salary for judges. The state constitution stipulates that, in order to protect the independence of the courts, judges’ salaries may not be lowered.

    Red-light cameras get the green light

    Last month, police stopped issuing tickets at 63 of the 85 authorized red-light camera intersections in New Jersey. But this week, the cameras are back on. Engineers have certified that the duration of the yellow lights meets the required minimum. The pilot program is set to expire in 2014 when lawmakers will reevaluate its effectiveness.

    New Jersey’s newest educational facility opens

    Cooper Medical School officially opened its doors this week in Camden, and Gov. Christie was just one of many guests who attended. Former N.J. Gov. Jim Florio, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Camden Mayor Dana Redd were also on hand to mark the occasion. The $139 million dollar building will welcome 50 students for orientation in August.

    Margaritaville finds a new home down the shore

    Singer Jimmy Buffett announced this week that he will build one of his Margarativille casino-entertainment complexes in Atlantic City. The facility will include two restaurants, a bar, retail options, and island-themed games. The $35.5 million project will open in spring 2013.

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