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Suicide Watch For Mom Jailed In Kids' Deaths & Midday Roundup

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – A Dallas woman remains jailed under a suicide watch after allegedly strangling her two young children with a wire. A Dallas County sheriff's spokeswoman said Thursday that 30-year-old Saiqa Akhter of Irving is being kept under a close 24-hour watch in the county jail. Bond is set at $1 million.

Akhter's charged with capital murder in the Monday death of 5-year-old son, Zain Akhter. An Irving police spokesman says another capital murder charge is pending in the slaying of her 2-year-old daughter, Faryaal Akhter, who died Tuesday night.

The girl was buried Thursday in Richardson, a day after the boy's burial.

According to a recording, Akhter told a 911 operator that she killed the children because they were autistic and she wanted "normal kids."

Board adopts charter facilities investment plan

The State Board of Education has adopted a proposal to dedicate public school endowment dollars to finance charter school facilities. The proposal is contingent on a legal opinion from the Texas attorney general.

The 7-6 vote Friday was to invest as much as $100 million of the $23 billion Permanent School Fund into developing and leasing Texas charter schools.

Chairwoman Gail Lowe agreed to seek an opinion on the proposal's legality from the Texas attorney general.

Board member David Bradley has pushed the measure for the past two years.

The Permanent School Fund is an endowment created in 1876 to benefit Texas public schools.

The board's investment adviser, Rhett Humphreys, says estimating the risk for a charter school investment is "very tricky business."

Transgender widow of Texas firefighter in court

A Texas judge is hearing testimony from the transgender widow of a firefighter and will decide whether to extend a temporary restraining order on her late husband's assets.

Widow Nikki Araguz has been sued by the family of her late husband, Thomas Araguz III. Araguz was killed in a July 4 blaze. His family argues the marriage should be voided because Araguz was born a man and same-sex marriage is not legal in Texas.

A judge was to rule Friday on whether to extend a temporary restraining order on Araguz's assets. The order bars the widow from accessing the money.

The firefighter's family wants his more than $600,000 in assets to go to his two boys.

The widow is insisting the marriage was legitimate and wants the assets.