0323aj People Michael Benson

Apache Junction’s Michael Benson performed in last year’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance” at Wartburg College. He will be a featured performer in the Wartburg Players’ spring production, “Murder by the Book,” March 18-19. (Courtesy of Wartburg College)

0316aj SALT Anna’s Hummingbird

An Anna’s hummingbird (Courtesy of Superstition Area Land Trust)

0316aj SALT Lisa Atkins

Lisa Atkins

IMAGE AJ Exit 40 Band

The Exit 40 Band

0309all Ent Magdalena Pedro Martinez

Magdalena Pedro Martinez, creator of black pottery figurines like this one, will appear at the Mexican Artistry Festival March 11-13 at the Superstition Mountain Museum. (Special to the Independent/Superstition Mountain Museum)

0309all Ent Carlos Carrillo Firing (2)

Demonstrations of Mata Ortiz pottery being fired are a popular attraction at the Mexican Artistry event. (Special to the Independent/Superstition Mountain Museum)

0302aj AJUSD Montesa wBalogh

Dave Balogh, second from left, director of the Apache Junction High School’s band program, on Feb. 25 introduced some of the residents at Montesa at Gold Canyon who have been helping to raise money for the band inside their classroom. The Montesa residents are, from left, JoAnn Ochs, Julie Shangle and Marian Williamson. They were joined by Mike Weaver, right, a member of the Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board. (Independent Newspapers/Wendy Miller)

0302aj AJUSD Band Montesa

Members of the Apache Junction High School wind ensemble were enthusiastic in their appreciation for fundraising efforts on their behalf by residents of Montesa at Gold Canyon. The fundraisers — which have totaled more than $4,000 over the past two years — are the brainchild of JoAnn Ochs, front row standing, second from right. She is helped by fellow Montesa residents Marian Williamson, second from left; and Julie Shangle, right. Mike Weaver, left, a member of the Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board, brought the ladies’ efforts to the attention of the school district at the governing board’s Feb. 23 meeting. (Independent Newspapers/Wendy Miller)

0302aj AJUSD Band Montesa Sq

0224aj MountainBrook Village Players 20

The cast of “Where There’s A Will There’s A Relative” are, back row from left: Kathy Buelow, Bill Wash and Dick Brennan; and front row from left: Karleen Huffman, Pat Hardie and Jim Mosier. (Special to the Independent/Bill Wash)