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April Simpson, KTVI part ways over intern dispute

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After being back to work for less than a week, anchor April Simpson and KTVI (Channel 2) seem to have parted ways, in a permanent way.

"April Simpson no longer works here. We wish her well," said station spokesperson Suzi Mahe, who declined to comment further.

Simpson had been the anchor of the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. newscasts and reported stories for evening broadcasts. She has been the subject of news report before, in 2010, when she battled a brain tumor.

Simpson, who returned last Monday from a two-week suspension for undisclosed reasons, engaged Thursday in a verbal exchange that led to this recent job action, sources said.

Simpson admitted that she had taken to referring to an intern, who is part Asian and part black, as "Bruce Leroy." 

Simpson said that she was not the only employee to use the moniker, which comes from the 1985 film "The Last Dragon."

When he objected Thursday to the reference, Simpson argued with the intern who then complained to the human resources department, sources said. 

Simpson denied arguing with the intern, but when asked for further response, she said, "That's all I have to say. Frankly, I'm shocked by this."

Later Friday night, Simpson called to say the moniker was used in reference to the intern's physical resemblance to the movie character, not to his racial make-up.

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