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.
A gym teacher in Stockton is on paid leave and faces criminal charges after he allegedly tried to force a high school student into the swimming pool during class.
If the bright flood lights weren’t enough to disrupt your sleep, the construction crew says it gets a lot louder when they try to pump a well.
Stockton residents said Wednesday they have a lot of questions about why two veteran detectives pulled over councilwoman-elect Christina Fugazi, but decided not to cite her despite their report alleging drug and alcohol use.
According to the report, officers said when Manning rolled down his window the officers smelled a strong odor of marijuana. A search of Fugazi’s car uncovered a cup that appeared to have held alcohol and an empty bottle of Hennessey under Fugazi’s seat.
Police said the crimes all occurred in just a two-mile radius from each other and the suspect entered the homes through an open window.
The construction work being done on the new Stockton courthouse is surrounded by a chainlink fence, but construction crews said a distraught man slipped in the site through a gap and quickly climbed 13 stories of the first crane.
Zuckerman’s Delta Bluegrass Company has researched a variety of native California grasses and experimenting with a blend of seeds to create new sod. Zuckerman said the company has come up with several lawn options that can remain emerald green year-round and require a lot less water.
Sacramento is now making use of its slice of $200 million dollars set aside earlier this year by Gov. Jerry Brown for statewide drought projects.
Stockton will have two new council members – Christina Fugazi and Susan Lofthus. An appointment is also needed on council to fill Kathy Miller’s vacated seat in District 2.
The only vessels getting through the waterfront with ease are Rick Hatton’s fleet of hyacinth harvesters. The invasive plant choking up the Port of Stockton is the worst Hatton has ever seen.
During the first week of October, Sherry Mailloux begins to decorate her home for Halloween. Mailloux could very well be the queen of Halloween. The final presentation is an elaborate web tunnel leading up to her front door. The work is more than the actual expense putting it together.
Lodi’s Chamber of Commerce, however, is optimistic. Surrounding Lodi are more than 90 vineyards, making it difficult to expand business out from the city limits. General Mills’s plant sits on 75 acres within the city.