Leigh Martinez is the multimedia journalist covering the San Joaquin Valley.
Previously, Leigh was the weekend anchor at KGET 17 in Bakersfield and spent three years covering the San Joaquin Valley for KXTV News 10.
During her news career, Leigh had the first in-depth look into Stockton’s gangs, gaining unprecedented access with the city’s Crips and Nortenos. She also covered Stockton’s bankruptcy, the Speed Freak serial killers, and produced a two-part investigation into Heroin addiction.
Leigh is a returned Peace Corps volunteer, who served in the Republic of Armenia from 2006-2008 teaching English. She also worked for USAID teaching journalism at Yerevan University.
Leigh is an adventure sport enthusiast. She’s climbed the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome at night to see the sunrise, bungee jumped in Jackson, CA, went sky-diving in outside of Philadelphia, scuba dived in Egypt’s Red Sea, she hiked the Na Pali Coast Trail in Kauai, wind surfed in Alameda, and climbed a volcano in Costa Rica. Next on her bucket list are dark water rafting in New Zealand’s glow worm caves and hang gliding in Northern California.
Getting Answers with Leigh Martinez
1) How long have you lived in Northern California? I moved here in 2010, then moved to Bakersfield for 10 months starting in 2013. Now I’m back!
2) Where are you from originally? Camden County, New Jersey.
3) Do you have any siblings? I had a younger brother Jared, who was a U.S. Marine, an artist, and my best friend. He was a great man and everyone loved him.
4) Do you have any pets? I love big dogs, but don’t have my own yet. Growing up, we had a goldadore (golden retriever, yellow lab mix).
5) iPhone or Android? Android, but I may get an iPhone for backup.
6) What’s your favorite app? MyFitnessPal
7) What’s your favorite thing about working in news? I’m never lonely and I get to help people tell their stories.
8) What’s your favorite book? Russka, the History of Russia by Edward Rutherfurd. I have a fascination with Russia and this book is historic fiction spanning 1,800 years of Russia’s history, politics, and culture.
9) What’s your favorite movie? Braveheart
10) What’s your favorite TV show? Game of Thrones
11) Who is your favorite band? Rancid
12) What’s your favorite concert you’ve ever been to? Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee 2010.
13) What’s the one thing about you that would surprise us? I adore alpacas and llamas. Someday, I hope to have an alpaca ranch.
14) What’s your favorite past time? Traveling to extraordinary places not many people know about.
15) If you could drive any car what would it be? Tesla Model S
16) Who’s the person you most admire? My mom. I wish I was half the woman she is.
17) What’s your favorite quote? “Actions speak louder than words.”
18) What’s the one place you’d like to visit that you’ve never been to before? Oh wow, there are too many to narrow it down to one. I definitely would like to explore Russia and take the Trans Siberian Railroad, and I want to swim in Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls in Zambia.
19) What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited? Armenia! It’s the most magical place. It’s like stepping into another world with it’s ancient culture, vaulted stone monasteries, villages built in the most remote places, and the friendliest people.
20) Who’s your favorite actor/actress? Christopher Walken and Angelina Jolie
21) What do you do for exercise? Heavy weightlifting in NPC bodybuilding fitness training.
22) What’s your favorite area restaurant? Fiori’s Butcher Shoppe in Lodi. Amazing sandwiches!
23) What food could you not live without? Peanut butter.
24) What’s your favorite Northern California attraction? Yosemite’s Half Dome
25) Where’s the strangest/farthest place you’ve been recognized? I’m not that big of a deal, but news viewers go grocery shopping and occasionally say hello to me.
26) At what age did you decide you were interested in news? I was a kid wanting to be TV reporter April O’Neill from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon.
Leigh’s recent stories
- Former Student Arrested After Alleged Threats Against American River CollegePolice say a student heard the threat and told a faculty member who alerted police. Clark was arrested at his job on Thursday night.
- Manteca Ready To Push Forward On Hotel, Water Park, Even Without Great Wolf ResortsManteca wants a 500-room hotel, indoor water park and a 30,000-square-foot conference center similar to what Great Wolf Resorts shows on its website, but the company isn’t sure it wants Manteca.
- Family Plans Appeal After Teen Found Responsible For Murder Of Leila FowlerThe judge on Tuesday said he couldn’t ignore the science, including Leila’s blood found on two knifes from the Fowler kitchen believed to be the murder weapons.
- Stockton Mayor’s Electronics Still Being Held By Federal AuthoritiesWhen Silva returned to the U.S. on Monday, he said he was detained at the San Francisco International Airport by the department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I.
- Suspect In Deadly Stockton Hit-And-Run Turns Himself InThe crash happened at around 6:30 a.m. at Farmington Road and South Walker Lane. Police identified a suspect early with a description of his car.
- Turlock Veteran Finds Burned American Flag In DrivewayIts remains were left on the ground as the plastic flag was burned and melted into the driveway.
- Stockton Coffee Company Expanding Its Options With New NameThe company will be changing its name starting on Thursday, going by Trail Coffee Roasters. It will expand to include beans from more than just Jesus Mountain in Nicaragua.
- Stockton Navy Sailor Missing In South CarolinaVincent Ferdin's family pastor, Gordon Richardson, says his mother and Manteca relatives are searching for him in South Carolina.
- Proposed Turlock Slaughterhouse Has Residents ConcernedThey say a proposed meat processing plant will do more than package supermarket meat with thousands of hogs on the property.
- Stansilaus, San Joaquin County Schools Knocked Back To ‘Stone Age’ By Internet OutageTeachers like Tim Welsh at Brainworx Academy had to change lesson plans and go old school.
- Downsized Stockton Greyhound Station Making Way For Possible Shopping CenterThe advertisements at the greyhound bus terminal went up last month, but to say a new shopping center is coming soon is more wishful thinking.
- CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Stockton Teen’s Detainment Raises Questions Over Police Use Of ForceAnother passenger recorded the video of the teen’s struggle with the officer. The cop called for backup and nine additional officers came.
- Access To Butte Fire Area Still Difficult For Residents, Utility WorkersCal Fire says no one except fire and PG&E crews are allowed on Highway 26, because conditions are unsafe.
- Butte Fire Has Cal Fire Focused On Best Way To Protect HomesCal Fire says its priority is to protect homes, but not all of them can be saved.
- Containment Of Butte Fire At 25%, Difficult Terrain Remains A ProblemThe fire burning in Amador and Calaveras counties continues to grow, but so does containment.
- BUTTE FIRE: San Andreas Mandatory Evacuation Order Lifted, But Residents Urged To Be ReadyCal Fire pulled back the mandatory evacuation order just before 5 p.m. on Friday, but cautioned residents should be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
- Lodi Teachers Looking For College Shirts To Get Students Thinking About Higher EducationFor College Spirit Day, students at Live Oak Elementary are encouraged to wear a college T-shirt every Wednesday to promote higher education.
- Lodi Website Knocked Offline By DDoS AttackWhen the IT department looked at the server, one computer IP address was pinging the computer, over and over.
- Farm’s Plan For Later Ice Skating Rink Hours Has Neighbors Concerned In Stanislaus CountyBut some neighbors aren’t OK with the farm’s request to open its ice rink the week before Thanksgiving and keep it open until 10 p.m. during the week, citing worries over noise, garbage and traffic.
- California Farmers Claim EPA Water Rules Extend To Dirt FieldsThe Environmental Protection Agency says any bodies of water near a river, or standing water that can affect waterways will fall under federal regulation.