Ryan Benk

REPORTER / HOST "Indie Endeavour"

Ryan Benk comes to WJCT from Tallahassee, where he worked as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU. Originally from Miami, he graduated with a bachelor's in English literature from Florida State University. During his time in Tallahassee, Ryan also worked as a policy and research analyst for legislative-research firm LobbyTools before returning to public radio at WJCT.

Ryan also edited fiction and poetry for Miami-Dade College's Miambiance magazine, and he produced a short film titled "The Writer."

When he’s not tracking down news, Ryan likes watching films, writing fiction and poetry, and exploring Florida's natural beauty.

Ryan is also the host of "Indie Endeavor."

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The annual Florida legislative session begins next week. Among the bills lawmakers will consider is one giving property tax breaks to people who suffered damage as a result of hurricanes last year.

The measure would reimburse certain First Coast homeowners for property taxes paid on houses destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.


Tom Varco / Wikimedia Commons

Florida patients could soon have access to more information about the average costs of their prescription drugs.


City Hall
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

Jacksonville’s Planning Commission unanimously approved zoning changes Thursday for Springfield that pave the way for an apartment complex for the disabled and chronically homeless.

The approval is the first step in a settlement agreement between the city, two disability-rights nonprofits and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Disability Rights Florida and Jacksonville-based Ability Housing sued after Ability Housing’s permit request to build the complex in Springfield was rejected.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Hungry downtown workers have a new place to grab a bite after Thursday’s opening of Jacksonville’s first “Urban Food Park.”

Every weekday, a rotation of four trucks will set up at lunch time for The Court: An Urban Food Park.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Around 100 demonstrators rallied outside Jacksonville City Hall Wednesday to urge Mayor Lenny Curry to veto a recent ordinance extending legal protections to LGBT people.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A year after convening its first hearing into the sinking of cargo freighter El Faro, the U.S. Coast Guard wrapped up its third and final fact-finding session Friday in Jacksonville.

It could be another year or more before investigators issue recommendations.

U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy’s new drone program will be calling Jacksonville home.

Naval Station Mayport beat out fellow Florida base Naval Air Station Key West and a NASA flight facility in Virginia for the contract.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is asking the city council to approve emergency funding for new gun identification technology.

The Integrated Ballistic Identification System uses a shell casing’s “fingerprint” to track down a shooter faster than ever. The new tech is expected to cost the city $250,000.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council has passed a law requiring more demographic reporting from city agencies.

It also recommends funding the position of equal opportunity manager to ensure city entities are doing everything they can to broaden their workforces.

Councilman Garrett Dennis, the bill’s sponsor, told his colleagues the law affirms Jacksonville’s commitment to diversity.

Jacksonville Human Rights Commission

The Jacksonville City Council confirmed the appointment of a new member of the city’s Human Rights Commission.

Peret Pass is a Republican political consultant who worked for Congressman John Rutherford’s campaign.


City of Jacksonville

The Jacksonville City Council is set to decide Tuesday whether to bolster the city’s program for ensuring workforce diversity at public agencies.

The proposed update to the “Equal Opportunity” program won the approval of two city council committees last week. But that doesn't mean it has a good chance at final passage.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

It’s easier than ever for needy Clay County students to get clothing.

That’s after a Jacksonville-based nonprofit opened a clothes closet Friday at Orange Park High School.


Engineer: El Faro Met All Federal Guidelines Before Setting Sail

Feb 10, 2017
TOTE Maritime

An engineer with the American Bureau of Shipping testified Thursday the sunken El Faro ship met all guidelines before it sailed in September of 2015.

That contradicts some previous testimony from one naval architect.

NPR

Executives who ran the company that owned and operated the cargo ship El Faro will testify about the ship’s operation as the company seeks to limit its liability in federal court.

That’s after a judge’s ruling Wednesday.  

Wikimedia Commons / Wikipedia

For the second day in a row, a Jacksonville city council committee Wednesday approved proposed workforce-diversity ordinance.

Despite some misgivings, the bill has cleared its last hurdle before going up for a full Council vote.


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