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Two teens plead guilty to burning condos, homes

CENTRAL ISLIP (AP) -- Two teenagers pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that they were carrying out a radical environmental group's campaign of arson and violence when they burned condos and luxury homes under construction on Long Island this year.

Matthew Rammelkamp, 16, and George Mashkow, Jr., 17, each pleaded guilty to a single count of arson conspiracy.

Jared McIntyre, 17, the son of a New York Police Department sergeant, pleaded guilty to the attacks Friday.

The teens have been tied to the Earth Liberation Front, a shadowy environmental organization that has claimed responsibility for a wave of arson and vandalism attacks nationwide.

The attacks are part of what the group says is a national campaign to inflict economic damage on those they blame for development of farmland and other natural property.

Otsego County to seek Amish farmers as residents

HARTWICK (AP) -- Orrin Higgins wants to attract more Amish farmers to Otsego County.

The Hartwick official will distribute brochures advertising the county's available farmland during next week's farm auction in Lancaster, Pa. -- the heart of Amish country.

"What's happening down there is the Amish farmers are being priced out of the market. The area is being developed so fast, they're under a lot of pressure trying to stay in farming," said the Hartwick Planning Board member. "Now here, we have lots of farmland, and almost everyone I know wants to see the land stay in farming."

Otsego 2000 Executive Director Martha Frey is calling real estate agents to put together a list of farms available for lease or rent in this community southeast of Utica.

Receptions to raise funds for Fort Ticonderoga work

TICONDEROGA (AP) -- Fort Ticonderoga plans to remind the world of its history with a series of ambitious expansion projects.

Fort officials will be hosts at a series of receptions from Washington, D.C., to Boston, said Fort Ticonderoga Association Board President Edward Pell during a meeting Tuesday night.

The March 9 "Ticonderoga Ball" in New York City will kick off events that "bring Fort Ticonderoga to the world," Pell said.

The key fortification in the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars was occupied at various times by the French, British and Americans over a 20-year period in the 1700s.

The receptions will help generate the millions of dollars needed for the building projects, said Marketing Director C. Walter Lender.

Projects began in November 1999, with the $630,000 rebuilding of the southwest bastion and $3 million renovation of the Kings Garden.

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