STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

2 fired after 'deplorable' comments directed at Iowa high school basketball team

KIMT

Two employees at an Iowa radio station have been fired after inappropriate comments surfaced on a video feed on a high school website.

Posted: Dec 4, 2017 9:02 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2017 9:02 PM

Forest City, Iowa – Two employees at radio station KIOW have been fired after inappropriate comments surfaced on a video feed on Forest City's school website.

The video, which was broadcast on The Cube, an online video service many local high schools use, had audio attributed to KIOW-FM in Forest City linked to the broadcast. The game was played Tuesday, Nov. 28.

During one back and forth with a board operator, Orin Harris, a longtime voice of Forest City athletics, is heard saying:

“As (President) Trump would say, go back where they came from,” the man said.

The second person in the conversation was Holly Jane Kusserow-Smidt, who is also a teacher within the Forest City School District. She has been placed on administrative leave.

Harris, in an interview with KIMT on Monday morning, said he had been suspended but was fired earlier Monday.

“I’m sorry. I’ve disappointed all my family and friends,” said Harris, who worked at the radio station for more than 40 years.

“At first I was upset, I was angry, I had just a bunch of different emotions didn't really know how to be reacting,” Misty Padilla said.
Padilla is the mother of one they were talking about in the recording.

“These two are grown adults that have, they're not 20 years old, 30 years old, and they are older and they know what has taken place in this world growing up themselves but yet they choose to do that,” Padilla said.

Padilla's son Nikolas was contacted the night after the game she says by his coach who was first contacted by Forest City coaches. That's when they first heard the racial comments were made about him and his teammates, but it wasn't until days later they found out what exactly was said.

Forest City superintendent Darwin Lehmann issued the following statement:

"The communication that took place during this broadcast is inconsistent with the policies and values of Forest City Schools. We expect all staff to hold the same values that we teach in our education system every day,” he said. “We apologize that the inappropriate conversation was streamed over The Cube, a school-sponsored communication channel.”

KIOW released a statement Monday morning.

“KIOW Radio has a long history of promoting and supporting student athletes, coaches and schools. As a company, we take great pride in spotlighting the great efforts of our local citizens, schools and communities, and we will demand that all company employees adhere to this policy,” the statement said.

During the nearly 90-second conversation, the topics include how Eagle Grove has many players with last names they think are Hispanic and "Espanol people in Eagle Grove."

“They’re all foreigners,” the two say.

Eagle Grove superintendent Jess Toliver said the school was issued an apology the night of the game and called for his school district to be respected wherever it goes.

The station called the comments directed at members of Eagle Grove High School “deplorable” and said “KIOW in no way condones or supports these comments.”

A letter of apology was sent to school officials on Nov. 30, two days after the basketball games between Eagle Grove and Forest City.

Harris was remorseful during an interview with KIMT on Monday.

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 74°
Florence
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Fayetteville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 74°
Scottsboro
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 73°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 101496

Reported Deaths: 1821
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13578262
Mobile10747221
Montgomery6999153
Madison555035
Tuscaloosa435080
Unassigned406169
Baldwin374429
Shelby338137
Marshall320738
Lee273647
Morgan244320
Etowah220934
DeKalb186614
Calhoun185319
Elmore178339
Walker156265
Houston145913
Limestone139313
Russell13912
St. Clair138120
Dallas134825
Franklin131022
Cullman124612
Colbert123218
Lauderdale121320
Autauga119622
Escambia109417
Talladega108714
Jackson10794
Tallapoosa87879
Dale85629
Chambers84838
Blount8355
Chilton8309
Clarke82710
Coffee7816
Butler77536
Covington75521
Pike7167
Marion59226
Barbour5866
Lowndes57524
Marengo57217
Bullock49311
Hale48726
Bibb4575
Winston45611
Washington45313
Perry4484
Wilcox44510
Monroe4256
Pickens41310
Randolph40411
Conecuh39710
Sumter37019
Lawrence3603
Macon34414
Crenshaw3338
Choctaw29012
Cherokee2888
Clay2785
Geneva2692
Henry2683
Greene25511
Lamar2372
Fayette2275
Cleburne1301
Coosa1063
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128511

Reported Deaths: 1313
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby23943319
Davidson21280221
Rutherford683455
Hamilton654756
Knox494641
Williamson370225
Sumner353873
Unassigned31513
Out of TN302419
Wilson241123
Bradley206615
Montgomery204115
Sevier19479
Putnam187820
Robertson159621
Trousdale15836
Hamblen145615
Washington13822
Blount137315
Maury13299
Madison124423
Tipton123312
Sullivan110615
Hardeman97518
Bedford95511
Macon87313
Lake7980
Loudon7793
Gibson7659
Dickson7433
Bledsoe7272
Fayette7258
Anderson7227
Dyer6969
Henderson6362
Cheatham6229
Obion6194
Jefferson6164
Lawrence6137
Carter5936
Coffee5843
McMinn58320
Warren5674
Rhea5662
Greene5529
Haywood5477
Lauderdale5359
Weakley5295
Hawkins52010
Cocke5145
Roane5102
Cumberland5027
Hardin4938
Monroe46910
Smith4674
Giles40213
McNairy4006
DeKalb3791
Franklin3594
Carroll3526
Lincoln3251
Marshall3254
Johnson3180
White3155
Henry3071
Claiborne2960
Hickman2901
Crockett2855
Campbell2611
Chester2402
Marion2395
Overton2351
Wayne2312
Decatur2263
Polk2245
Grainger2120
Unicoi1800
Benton1731
Union1660
Cannon1590
Jackson1371
Morgan1331
Humphreys1313
Scott1302
Grundy1242
Sequatchie1151
Meigs1130
Fentress1040
Clay840
Perry840
Hancock832
Lewis801
Stewart790
Moore680
Houston630
Pickett401
Van Buren390

Community Events