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."

Lindsey Kilbride

A Northeast Florida state senator is trying to get more environmental dollars flowing toward the St. Johns River.

He’s proposing $35 million more for projects along the river that flows from Central Florida to Jacksonville.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville police officers and Mayor Lenny Curry picked up pension negotiations where they left off last year.

The mayor is offering a better deal for new hires this time around, but union leaders still are not sold on his plan to move them into 401k-style retirement plans.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville councilman Garrett Dennis received input from colleagues Tuesday about his proposed ordinance tackling diversity of the city’s workforce.

Much of the discussion hinged upon how the bill should be expanded.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

In her first public appearance as state attorney Monday, Melissa Nelson reiterated her campaign promise of restoring the public’s confidence in Northeast Florida’s criminal justice system.

Nelson admitted the challenge of changing the office’s culture will be an exacting task, but that she had a specific blueprint to accomplish that goal.

National Weather Service

Folks on the First Coast and in Southeastern Georgia should brace for unusually cold temperatures this weekend as arctic air blankets the U.S.

Florida Public Radio meteorologist Jeff Huffman said residents should prepare by bringing  in plants and pets and layer up for frigid winds.

“This will be the strongest and most abrupt front of the winter so far for much of Florida and that includes Northeast Florida. Temperatures, ironically enough, will reach their warmest point around midnight (Friday) night – probably in the mid to upper 60s,” he said.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A Jacksonville Human Rights Commissioner is calling the recently filed equal opportunity bill “a good first step,” but the legislation doesn't go nearly far enough to address diversity issues at city agencies.

The bill — filed by Councilman Garrett Dennis — is a response to an ongoing federal investigation into possible racial discrimination at JEA.


A prominent Jacksonville clergyman is a step closer to joining the board of the community-owned utility, JEA.

St. Timothy Baptist Church Pastor Fred Newbill got unanimous approval Wednesday from City Council’s Rules Committee after Mayor Lenny Curry nominated him.  

As leader of a black church, Newbill has been a vocal champion of black civil rights, while at the same time refusing to include gay rights in civil rights.

But JEA policy prohibits discrimination against LGBT people.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A Central Florida marijuana dispensary made its first delivery to a Jacksonville patient Tuesday — the same day a constitutional amendment goes into effect that will make more types of medical cannabis available to Floridians.

Knox Medical is one of a handful of Florida dispensaries that have been allowed to open under a 2014 law.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The North Florida Land Trust tripled its lifetime land ownership in 2016, preserving more than 12,000 acres of undeveloped terrain.

Land Trust Executive Director Jim McCarthy said it was the best year in the environmental organization’s 18 years.


Creative Commons

A recent Harvard study concluded Jacksonville residents could save close to $40 million in health care costs annually if the city were to tax sugary drinks.

Researcher Steve Gortmaker said the tax would help cut down on obesity.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The record shop in Jacksonville’s Five Points neighborhood is going silent on Friday.


The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp merchandise is flying off the shelves, a little more than month after the minor league ball team’s owner changed the name from the Suns.

Mental Health Resource Center

A Duval County mental health care program is set to begin treating patients in March, five months ahead of schedule.

The nonprofit in charge of creating the “central receiving system” is raising money to qualify for a $15 million state grant. But it’s not waiting to reach that goal before opening doors to patients.


The Office of Governor Rick Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott is hoping a better working relationship with Washington, D.C. will bring about a solution to the state’s ongoing battle over health care funding.


National Transportation Safety Board

The transcript from the voyage data recorder of the ill-fated El Faro cargo freighter shows the captain refused to change course before the ship crossed paths with a hurricane and sank last year.

The ship’s second and third mates urged Captain Michael Davidson to change course further south three times on the night before and morning of El Faro’s sinking in October of 2015.


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