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Altoona mayors bet local favorites ahead of game

Pennsylvania takes on Iowa

In a wager made on a Webex conference call between two Altoonas in different states, City Council Monday bet a box of confections against steaks that Penn State will defeat Iowa in Iowa City on Oct. 9.

Mallo Cups will go to Altoona, Iowa’s, City Council if Iowa wins.

Steaks will go to Altoona, Pa.’s, City Council from The Big Steer Restaurant in the Midwestern city if Penn State wins.

“We’re getting steaks,” said local Councilman Bruce Kelley, one of four Penn State graduates on council, who initiated the wager idea. “Just saying.”

“I can see this continuing,” said Dean O’Connor, the Altoona, Iowa, mayor, looking beyond this year.

O’Connor promised “friendly banter” via social media in the upcoming week and a half.

“Let the smack talking begin,” said Kelley, who promised to wear an Iowa shirt if Penn State loses.

Before the conference call ended, Kelley led the other council members in the chant, “We are … Penn State” — in a voice much louder than any normally heard at council meetings.

Kelley has been at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa.

The fans there are extraordinarily pleasant, like the ones at Nebraska, another Big Ten school, Kelley said.

The good-humored teasing that accompanies such wager interactions are “good for both communities,” Kelley said.

City Manager Omar Strohm, Police Chief Joe Merrill, Fire Chief Tim Hileman and City Clerk Linda Rickens Schellhammer are also graduates of Penn State, officials noted on the conference call.

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