Local second-graders help coin a new design

Local second-graders help coin a new design Darwin Van Den Oever, loan officer at CorTrust Bank in Vermillion, watches as Vermillion second-graders Jacob Sperlich and Nathan Van Den Oever vote for their favorite design of the South Dakota quarter. By David Lias Andrew Callahan, 7, a second-grader at Austin Elementary School in Vermillion, didn't have to flip a coin Tuesday afternoon to decide what the state's new quarter should look like.

"It wasn't hard to make up my mind," he said. "I knew right away which one I liked the best."

He and his classmates walked in Tuesday's balmy weather from Austin School to CorTrust Bank in downtown Vermillion to cast their ballots.

In October 2003, Gov. Mike Rounds appointed a five-member South Dakota Quarter Advisory Committee made up of individuals in the tourism, banking, and economic development industries who were responsible for submitting narratives to the Mint.

He unveiled the proposed designs for the state quarter Jan. 12, and asked citizens of all ages to help select the image that will appear on the South Dakota quarter.

In the first week of voting, more than 30,000 votes have been cast through the state's Web site at www.sdquarter.com.

The state quarter will be chosen from five designs illustrated by U.S. Mint artists. Of the five quarter designs, the first three quarter designs that�South Dakotans�have to choose from feature Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the American bison, and the Chinese ring-necked pheasant.

The remaining two quarters combine elements of the first three. One shows an American bison in the foreground and Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the background.�The other features a Chinese ring-necked pheasant in the foreground and Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the background.

All designs are framed by two stalks of wheat.

The state quarter selection vote is taking place via the internet, and through South Dakota state banks and credit unions.

The bank and credit union ballots will not be tallied until after the close of voting on April 15, with the winning designed announced to the mint�April 20.

The new South Dakota design will be released in the fall of 2006.

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