The Shriners were the persistent ones.

The organization really wanted its own license plate.

But Creighton University in Omaha beat them to the punch as the first to sign up the 500 needed participants to display specialty plates.

To qualify for the plates, an organization must be a nonprofit that serves the community, serves the welfare of others, and is not offensive or discriminatory in purpose, nature, activity or name.

The plates cost $70 each, according to Beverly Neth, Department of Motor Vehicles director.

The department worked with Creighton to design the plates, which feature one angry bird -- the Creighton Blue Jay.

The Shriners haven't quite reached the 500 mark for signees.

 The profits from the plates go to the state's highway program.

And speaking of plates ...

Now that we're three months in on the new Nebraska license plates, people are starting to notice some of the oddities about the Meadowlark-sitting-on-something-that-could-make-you-sneeze design.

For one thing, there's a double ribbon, double helix kind of holographic feature that runs down the middle of the plate. That's for security reasons, says Neth.

One quick look by law enforcement and they can see your plate is the real deal. True Nebraska.

Another feature is the expiration month on the right hand corner of Lancaster, Douglas and Sarpy county plates that is printed directly on the plate.

In the other 90 counties, the expiration date comes via stickers.

Neth said it has to do with saving money. It was easier to preprint the expiration month on the alpha-numeric plates, which allows no reserved numbers for car owners.

In subsequent years for these plates, even those three counties will have stickers, she said.

The young-uns will take over

High school students are invited to take on the role of state senators at the Unicameral Youth Legislature June 12-15.

Student senators will gather at the Capitol, sponsor bills, conduct committee hearings, debate legislation and discover the unique workings of the nation's only unicameral legislature.

The Unicameral Youth Legislature gives behind-the-scenes access to students who have an interest in public office, government, politics, law, public policy, debate or public speaking.

Students will learn about the inner workings of the Legislature directly from senators and staff.

"This is an incredible opportunity for Nebraska's high school students to fully engage in our unique unicameral system," said Lincoln Sen. Colby Coash.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Extension 4-H Youth Development Office coordinates housing and recreational activities for the youth legislature as part of the Big Red Summer Camps program.

To learn more about the program, go to http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/education/unicamyouth.php" target= "_blank">www.nebraskalegislature.gov/education/unicamyouth.php or call 402-471-2788. The registration deadline is May 15.

Reach JoAnne Young at 402-473-7228 or jyoung@journalstar.com . You can follow JoAnne's tweets at twitter.com/ljslegislature.