Leigh Martinez is the multimedia journalist covering the San Joaquin Valley.
Previously, Leigh was the weekend anchor at KGET 17 in Bakersfield and also 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.
The public defender said Huntsman plans to plead not guilty to arson charges. Prosecutors still haven’t revealed the evidence against him, but if homes are destroyed, Huntsman faces more charges.
Pollock pines resident Wayne Allen Huntsman will call El Dorado County Jail home for a while, since a county judge set his bail at $10 million for arson charges in the King Fire.
“They know what hard time is,” said Cal Fire Capt. Rick Vallejo of his team of 16 prisoners. “We get them at the fire camp and they’re on they’re best behavior. We’re 24/7 365 days with these guys.”
On Monday, 11 major wildfires were burning across the state. CBS13 got answers as to how Cal Fire determines which fire needs the most resources. Cal Fire said it depends on the risk.
Back in early August, CBS13 spoke to a University of the Pacific geologist who warned California’s tapped aquifer could cause the ground to sink and eventually collapse the aquifer forever.
At the Village Market on Main Street, not much has changed in the 30 years Johnny Lo has been behind the counter. He knows his customers by name and stocks his shelves, so his neighbors don’t have to drive to Turlock for groceries.
Delta College’s sports field complex was built in 2007 with taxpayer money from Measure L. The soccer field was supposed to be inside. Current administrators don’t know why it ended up across the street.
The spotted owl makes its home in the Stanislaus National Forest. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, environmental research shows 32 pairs of spotted owls and 5 individual spotted owls were found in the Rim Fire area. The Center said it’s the best habitat for the owls to find food.
Many private companies and homeowners have their own back flow regulators that vary in size. Thieves look at the above ground pipes as a potential opportunity for scrap metal.
It’s green and smelly, and now health officials say it’s also toxic. San Joaquin County’s algae problem is so bad the health department issued a warning today.
Casey and Diane Johnson have a small garden on their Garst Road property, but the small patch of land recently cost the couple $1,500 and something they say is even more valuable.
Lodi Vintners bottles for local wine makers, but it also makes several gallons of wine for multiple Napa wineries. Owner and vice president of operations, Tyson Rippey, lives in Napa and has another family winery there. Rippey said the earthquake damage to Napa’s wineries is bad. His family’s winery was spared, but a Sonoma storage facility lost wine after tanks leaked.