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State officials have denied required air permit renewals to a bitcoin-mining power plant in the Finger Lakes that environmentalists called a threat to New York’s climate goals. Greenidge Generation says it will continue operating under its current permit while it challenges the decision. Greenidge, a former coal plant by the shore of Seneca Lake, was converted to natural gas several years ago and began bitcoin mining in earnest in 2020. Supporters say the plant provides a competitive way to mine cryptocurrency without putting a drain on the state’s power grid. Climate activists argue the fossil fuel plant undercuts the state’s policy of slashing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades.

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Former Associated Press board chair Frank Daniels Jr. has died at 90. His son says he died Thursday. In addition to his service on the board of directors of the not-for-profit news cooperative, Daniels shepherded The News & Observer of Raleigh through an era of political and economic transformation in the New South. His tenure at both organizations was marked by technological expansion and innovation. Daniels' family had owned the North Carolina newspaper for over a century before it was sold to McClatchy in 1995. The N&O won three Pulitzers while he was publisher, including the public service prize.

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Shares of Spirit Airlines are rising after the budget airline postponed a vote on a merger with Frontier for the second time. Spirit announced hours before a shareholder meeting Thursday that the merger vote will be pushed back to July 8. That will give Spirit more time to talk with Frontier and JetBlue Airways, which is also bidding for Spirit. JetBlue's CEO sees the latest delay as a sign that his airline will eventually win the bidding war.

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An associate of Rudy Giuliani who was a figure in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment investigation was sentenced Wednesday to a year and eight months in prison for fraud and campaign finance crimes. Lev Parnas had sought leniency on the grounds that he'd helped the Congressional probe of Trump and his efforts to get the leaders of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden's son. Prosecutors said the Soviet-born businessman's aid was in response to a subpoena and deserved little credit. They had asked for a sentence of more than 6 years. Parnas was convicted of using the riches of a wealthy Russian to make illegal donations to politicians who might aid the launch of a legal recreational-marijuana business.

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New York’s recreational marijuana market is beginning to sprout, literally. Thin-leafed plants are stretching toward the sun in farms around the state. In a novel move, New York gave 203 CBD hemp growers first shot at cultivating marijuana destined for legal sales, which could start by the end of the year. Big indoor growers are expected to join later. Giving a head start to hemp growers is an unusual way to gear up a marijuana market. States typically rely initially on their existing medical growers, as New Jersey did for its launch earlier this year.

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ Paychex Inc. (PAYX) on Wednesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $296.4 million.

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Fox News Channel is airing the Jan. 6 committee hearings when they occur during daytime hours, and ratings show that a striking number of their viewers are tuning it out. Nielsen figures show the extent to which Fox viewers leave the network when the hearings come on, then return when Fox's regular programming resumes. Fox generally has more viewers than MSNBC and CNN combined during a typical day, but the viewing patterns are flipped during the hearings. Nielsen says CNN and MSNBC's viewer figures go up during the hearings, which have also been shown on broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC.