State Quarter

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From 6,500 to 5.

With thousands of ideas in hand, the Nebraska quarter design committee is faced with winnowing the list down to a manageable number to recommend to Gov. Mike Johanns.

At its meeting Friday, the committee heard a pitch from a representative of the U.S. Strategic Command to incorporate the military into the final design.

The panel also enlisted the aid of a state employee and artist to help visualize ideas as the process moves forward.

Secretary of State John Gale is chairman of the committee. He says the committee owes the citizens a vote of thanks for the number of designs submitted.

Nebraska's commemorative quarter will be released in March 2006. The five finalists must be submitted to the U.S. Mint by Sept. 30.

The Mint will then produce its own version of the quarters based on those designs and return them to the state. Johanns will pick the ultimate winner.