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 Singh family attorney said the family had no idea the neighborhood bank was robbed six times in less than three years.
Juan Fernandez, 59, died of multiple traumatic injuries suffered in Tuesday’s attack at his home in the city of Modesto, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said. His mother, Maria, remained hospitalized in critical condition.
Ripon was one of the first California communities to go under full-time city surveillance nearly 10 years ago. More than 80 cameras are installed in either commercial or public areas.
John Alita is San Bruno’s former assistant library director, who will take over Stockton’s Community Services Department, overseeing the library system and recreation. Jessica Glynn comes from New York to head a new position with the Marshal Plan-created Office of Violence Prevention.
It’s not a new law, just one never enforced and forgotten. In August, a group of girl scouts asked Turlock City Council to ban smoking in parks to prevent second hand smoke inhalation. The idea had some smokers fuming and council members considering a vote.
“I was watching the smoke all around,” said Hedger, who lives on Swanson Lane. “I jumped in my truck and drove around just checking and checking. Next thing I know I hear mandatory evacuation.”
Seventh grader Kayla Gillman said she loves math, but finds the class at Turlock Junior High School not challenging enough. “I like learning, because you’re going to use it in the real world, so might as well learn it now instead of later,” said Gillman.
Regardless of how good or how bad mediation went on Thursday, they teachers planned to rally outside the district office. That’s because they’ve rallied there every year for the past five years.
The dispute was between the old committee and the takeover committee over use of the temple’s money and bylaws. It reportedly got so heated that there were fist fights in the committee meeting and even shouting matches during worship.
School officials believe a Pitman High School student posted the picture of a woman, who is naked from the waist up, onto Twitter on Tuesday. Then, other students started commenting on the photo and sharing it saying it was of their English teachers. The photo then went beyond the school campus.
King Fire: Rain Helps Efforts To Control Massive California Wildfire, But Also Raises Mudslide Worries
The rain helped bring down the flames but getting down and up the terrain creates a new challenge for crews. The bulldozed fire lines turned over this clay which gets very slick.
Denair homeowner Gilbert Meeks’ well went dry on Memorial Day and he was without water for ten weeks. He relied on a hose and a neighbor to get by until a deeper well was drilled and the county and irrigation district stopped farmers from pumping too much ground water to replenish the canal.