Cover story: ‘Labeled,’ but not licked

“Dense,” “slow learner,” “retard” — Eric Staib has been pigeonholed, pegged and pinned down all his life. Thanks to his own persistence and shamefully late-in-life help, he went from a being a frustrated student, dreading the classroom, to a working artist, touring musician and award-winning Okemos Public Schools art teacher. Lawrence Cosentino talks with Staib about his journey and his struggles with dyslexia.

Dispensary dilemma

An already complicated battle over Lansing’s medical marijuana industry has gotten even more controversial with the appointment of Jim Smiertka as the new Lansing city attorney. Smiertka appears to be at odds with the administration of Mayor Virg Bernero over allowing dispensaries to operate in the city. Todd Heywood explores what a change in approach could mean for local dispensaries.

Hirten: Eyes wide shut

Interim Ingham County Prosecutor Gretchen Whitmer wants to know who in the Prosecutor's Office knew about Stuart Dunnings III’s reckless romps with prostitutes in three mid-Michigan counties. She says she's willing to fire those who knew about their boss's criminal escapades and did nothing. If she's serious, heads will roll. Mickey Hirten weighs in on the latest in the Dunnings sex scandal.

Raise the flag

At the end of the Civil War, 150 years ago, regiments from Michigan returned home and presented their battle flags to the governor to celebrate the Union’s victory. Historians, state officials and military veterans will mark this anniversary Saturday with a full day of events that includes a recreation of the soldiers’ return from battle. Bill Castanier explores the history behind Michigan’s Civil War flags in this week’s issue.

Viewers’ choice

A New York-based actor, Jeffrey Omura, 31, has appeared in shows like “Damages,” “White Collar” and “The Blacklist,” as well as theater productions like Shakespeare in the Park’s “Romeo and Juliet.” A Michigan native, Omura was born in Lansing and graduated from Okemos High School. The actor recently landed a role on an Amazon Prime pilot for a project called “The Interestings.” City Pulse catches up with Omura to talk about his latest project.

Arts Headline

One of east side Lansing’s most successful restaurateurs is looking to expand farther east by scooping up one of Williamston’s best known eateries. Last week, Dawn-Marie Joseph sold Gracie’s Place, the upscale eclectic bistro she opened in downtown Williamston in 2008, to Nick Gavrilides, owner/operator of Soup Spoon Café, an upscale eclectic bistro on Lansing’s east side. Allan I. Ross talks to Joseph and Gavrilides about the transition.

Check out these stories and more in Wednesday’s issue of City Pulse.