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The ex-wife of slain Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan has moved 2,800 miles from Florida to the Pacific Northwest as investigators are about to announce that an arrest is imminent in the unsolved murder, Fox News Digital has learned.
Nearly one year after the father of four was executed in front of his toddler, Bexley, in north Florida, Shanna Gardner-Fernandez quietly uprooted her 10-year-old twins with Jared and relocated to West Richland, Washington.
When asked Monday to comment on the significant development in the case, she responded, “No, I’m sorry.” Minutes later, she was spotted in her white Tesla in a grocery store parking lot, speaking on her cellphone.
Jared’s second wife, Kirsten Bridegan, with whom he shares 3-year-old Bexley and 1-year-old London, said she was stunned Gardner-Fernandez had moved so far away.
“Honestly, I was shocked,” she told Fox News Digital in an interview Monday. “First, the twins lost their dad, then they were completely cut off from their own sisters, and now they’re being taken away from their school, friends, their sports teams. They are so isolated, and that’s what concerns me.”
Jared had custody of the twins every other week, but soon after his murder, Gardner-Fernandez ended all contact with his family, according to Kirsten.
“It’s been an added loss,” she said. “On top of losing Jared, my children have lost their siblings. I’ve lost my step-kids. I have tried for months and months to make contact and have gotten nowhere.”
Gardner-Fernandez, 35, and Bridegan, 33, divorced in 2016 — but they continued to battle over finances and custody of the twins in family court until his death on Feb. 16, 2022.
A law enforcement source told Fox News Digital that an arrest is expected as early as Wednesday but would not elaborate.
Gardner-Fernandez and her second husband, Mario Fernandez, remain suspects in the mysterious killing, according to a second source.
After the murder, the couple retained high-powered criminal defense lawyer Henry Coxe III, who declined to comment for this story Monday.
Less than one year after the children traumatically lost their father, Gardner-Fernandez pulled them out of their private Jacksonville Beach school and moved them into a six-bedroom, four-bathroom house in the Tri-Cities area of southeastern Washington.
Property records show that the modern ranch home was purchased in September for $1 million by Whitesand LLC, which lists the Alpine, Utah, address of her parents, Shelli and Sterling Gardner.
Shelli Gardner founded the paper-craft company Stampin’ Up, which has an estimated annual revenue of more than $100 million a year, according to IncFact.
Her parents are prominent fixtures in the Mormon community known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
They were in West Richland this past week visiting their daughter and grandchildren — and attended a service solo Sunday at a local LDS church.
Jared was a devout adherent of the faith. Gardener-Fernandez drifted from the religion after their 2010 marriage and then allegedly had an affair, triggering their acrimonious split, Fox News Digital previously reported.
Her second marriage is also faltering. Shortly after the murder, neighbors said they no longer saw Fernandez at the couple’s $1 million Jacksonville Beach home, which they co-own, and he did not join her for the cross-country move.
It was listed for sale Oct. 27 then taken off the market Jan. 3, public records show.
Gardner-Fernandez’s primary connection to West Richland appears to be a friend she met at a baking conference in 2020, Marla Rogers, who owns the home next door.
Rogers runs Marla’s Cookie Co. out of her house much like Gardner-Fernandez operated her own now-shuttered baking company, Beach Baked 904, from her home in Florida.
Gardner-Fernandez made a brief appearance Sunday in a video Rogers posted to her company’s Instagram page.
As Rogers is seen cleaning up after teaching a cookie decorating class, Gardner-Fernandez enters her kitchen wearing a shirt emblazoned with the phrase, “PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME DO STUFF!”
Jared was gunned down Feb. 16, 2022, in Jacksonville Beach after taking his twins and Bexley, then 2, to dinner. The software engineer had just dropped off the twins at their mother’s house when he encountered a tire in the one-way road.
He stepped out of his Volkswagen Atlas to move it and was repeatedly shot by an unknown assailant as Bexley watched from her car seat.
“She has good days where she’s happy,” Kirsten said. “But it’s going to be a lifetime for her of processing those feelings and the trauma of what she went through.”
Few details have been released about the investigation, a joint effort by the Jacksonville Beach Police Department and the State Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Judicial Circuit led by Melissa Nelson.
Early in the probe, police asked for the public’s help identifying a dark-blue Ford F-150 captured on surveillance footage near the crime scene, and there is a $55,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Kirsten said she and her daughters are trying to heal but New Year’s was particularly challenging.
“We ended the last year that we were a complete family and started an entirely new year that will not have those memories or Jared in them,” she said. “That was very difficult.”
By: Ny Post
Tennessee pro-life center funding – One America News Network
OAN Roy Francis
9:14 AM PT – Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee has proposed establishing a $100 million grant program for pro-life crisis center in his state.
Bill Lee (R-Tenn.) unveiled his plan, stating that his state has a “moral obligation” to support families. Under this plan, Tennessee would transform into “one of the top spending states” on organizations that support pregnant women who are in need of help and resources to keep their babies, rather than making the choice of abortion.
“Pro-life is much more than defending the lives of the unborn,” Lee said. “This is not a matter of politics. This is about human dignity.”
Another part of the plan is to expand “paid parental leave for state employees and widening the Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women and parents.”
“If approved,” the governor explained. “Tennessee will be the first Medicaid program in the nation to implement this kind of support. That’s pro-life. That’s pro-family,”
The governor’s administration also will demand that the federal government pay the cost of diapers for Medicaid recipients for a period of up to two years.
The governor, who is on the advisory board for a crisis pregnancy center, said that his other priorities include teacher pay raise, upgrading the state’s transportation system, and cleaning up toxic waste at industrial sites.
“We can have a healthy debate about the policy specifics, but we can also agree that America is rooted in a commitment to human dignity,” Lee said later on. “There was a significant shift in this country last year when it comes to protecting the lives of the unborn. We now all have an opportunity and a moral obligation to support strong Tennessee families.”
This plan was unveiled during Lee’s annual State of the State address which was held in front of the Republican-led legislature.
The governor touts his state as “a guiding light for opportunity, security & freedom” and laid out his agenda going forward, which was met with protests from the Democrats in the state of Tennessee.
Columbia student from Syria loses nieces, sister-in-law in earthquake
A 28-year-old Syrian student at Columbia University lost his two young nieces and their mom in the devastating earthquake that has claimed at least 11,000 lives in his country and neighboring Turkey.
Hussein Akoush, a student at the Ivy League school in Manhattan since 2021, told The Daily Beast that he was sent into a “panic” when a friend texted him about “massive destruction” in his hometown of Al-Atarib in northwestern Aleppo.
“I saw the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.8. At this point, I realized it was huge,” he told the outlet.
“I had to check in on my family in Syria. So I sent messages to all my sisters and my brother, but none of them received my messages,” said Akoush, who moved to Turkey in 2016 and then to the Big Apple in 2021 to study neuroscience.
He finally heard from his uncle, who said, “‘Don’t worry, we’re fine, your mother and your sister are well,” Akoush told The Daily Beast.
“‘Your brother’s building collapsed but we managed to take him out of the ruins. But we know nothing about his wife and two daughters,’” he said his uncle told him.
Eventually, he learned that his nieces — 6-year-old Sedra and 5-year-old Maria — and their mom Fatima perished in the disaster.
“With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of my two nieces and their mother in last night’s earthquake,” Akoush said on Twitter.
“So, my brother lost his wife and his two daughters,” he told The Daily Beast, adding that his brother has undergone surgery for a broken arm.
“It was a terrible night… I was not able to sleep,” he said.
In a GoFundMe page from 2020, Akoush wrote that “before the Syrian revolution began, I was a hardworking student. I used to be top of my class but I was obliged to drop out of the School of Dentistry at Aleppo University in 2012 for fear of arrest by the Syrian Government due its violent response to the peaceful protests on campus.
“During the war, I dedicated myself to peaceful activism against the brutal dictatorship of Bashar Al Assad, as I watched friends and family members and innocent civilians being ruthlessly killed,” he continued.
Akoush said he learned English, decided to move to Turkey and became a freelance journalist after facing “a litany of death threats and constant bombardment.”
“Fortunately, I was awarded a partial scholarship from Columbia to cover half of the tuition but it is still not enough and that is why I am hoping you will make a donation to help pay for my first year of tuition,” he wrote.
Akoush received $51,426 in donations, surpassing his goal of $50,000.
By: Ny Post
I have to ‘learn to read’ before Barbra Streisand memoir
Lea Michele is poking fun at rumors claiming she can’t read, joking that Barbra Streisand’s memoir release has given her a looming deadline.
“265 days to learn to read,” the “Glee” alum captioned a TikTok shared Wednesday, which showed the actress covering her mouth in a shocked expression.
Michele, 36, leaned out of the video’s frame to show the cover of Streisand’s upcoming memoir, “My Name Is Barbra.”
The 80-year-old singer’s book will be published in November, with her publisher calling it “frank, funny, opinionated, and charming.”
In a press release, Viking wrote, “Barbra Streisand is a living legend, a woman who in a career spanning six decades has excelled in every area of entertainment, and this engrossing and delightful book will be eagerly welcomed by her millions of fans.”
The statement continued, “Dozens of books have been written about Streisand, and now in My Name Is Barbra, she tells her story in her own words.”
Michele’s social media upload, which her followers praised as “iconic” and “funny,” did not mark the first time she has addressed speculation about her reading and writing skills.
The Broadway star called the rumors “sad” in a September 2022 New York Times interview.
“I think often if I were a man, a lot of this wouldn’t be the case,” she said, pointing out that she showed up to the “Glee” set with her lines memorized “every single day” for six seasons.
Last month, one of Michele’s friends — and former “Scream Queens” co-star” — Emma Roberts played coy about the longstanding gossip on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.”
“We have not been in book club together,” the “American Horror Story” alum teased.
However, when Michele began starring in “Funny Girl” on Broadway last year, she received, and presumably read, a “beautiful letter” from Streisand, who once played the role.
“It was very sweet,” Michele gushed to Seth Meyers in December 2022. “She was like, ‘It’s really wonderful when your dreams come true, isn’t it?’”
The Emmy nominee “fell to [her] knees” over the note and immediately called her loved ones.
By: Ny Post
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