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POLITICAL S +4 PHOTO BY MATT WRIGHT-STEEL DEPT. OF MYTHICAL CRITTERS Chupacabra Ca-Ching SEE pictures of the Runaway Bay “chupacabra” at WATCH the latest State Board of Education meeting at tx1o.comisboemtg ONCE RELEGATED TO SOUTH TEXAS, THE MYTHICAL chupacabra, or “goat sucker,” is migrating north. This spring, Runaway Bay, a town northwest of Fort Worth, made the chupacabra its official town mascot. That was after a groundskeeper at the municipal golf course found what mayor Robert Ryan describes as a “very strange-looking dead animal that was hairless with a long beak near the 14th hole.” “Apparently there was an understanding that it must be a chupacabra,” Ryan said. “At least that’s what went out in our press release.” El chupacabra didn’t always roam our state. The first reported sighting was in Puerto Rico in 1995, where the beast earned its nom de guerre for sucking the blood from livestock animals, its favorite flavor being goat. The sightings spread from there to Mexico and the rest of Latin America. Over the years it has been described as everything from a bug-eyed alien on two claw-like feet to a hairless blue-skinned mutated dog-like creature. No one loves a chupacabra. Or do they? The creature has the undeniable ability to make money for small towns across Texas. Call it the chupacabra stimulus. In Runaway Bay, the town’s Chamber of Commerce knew it was onto something good. The chamber commissioned golf shirts and T-shirts for sale. The shirt features the chupacabra holding a golf club, surrounded by a corona of fireworks. A local restaurant created the “legendary chupacabra burger.” The merchandise alone has already generated $4,000 for city coffers. A necropsy proved that Runaway Bay’s chupacabra was actually a hairless raccoon. “Much to our chagrin it was indeed, not a chupacabra,” said Greg Leveling, the city administrator. But no matterthey still adopted the creature as their town mascot. “We decided to honor the critter anyway,” Leveling said with a laugh. “After all, it is an endangered species and this is a designated safe haven. A place where it can come and live in peace.” MELISSA DEL BOSQUE DEPT. OF EDUCATION Risky Business AT ITS JULY MEETING, THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION agreed to an unprecedented investment plan for the Permanent School Fund, which provides state funding 21 THE TEXAS OBSERVER WWW.TEXASOBSERVER.ORG