Ryan Benk

REPORTER / HOST "Indie Endeavour"

Ryan Benk joined WJCT News in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.

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.

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

Experts at the present time seem confident Hurricane Joaquin won't make landfall along the First Coast, but that doesn't mean the area will be free from some gnarly weather.

The Coast Guard is warning swimmers about dangerous rip currents in hopes of clearing Florida’s beaches.

But that warning is more of a call to action for some beachgoers.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Federal Communications commissioners came to Jacksonville’s Mayo Clinic Thursday to discuss telemedicine.

The discussion touched on ways to expand telehealth in rural areas that lack access to reliable Internet.

The biggest roadblock to telemedicine in Florida has more to do with political will than technology.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

This weekend the City of Green Cove Springs is holding its 14th annual Soul Food Festival celebrating African-American culture.

The event began as a way to connect residents to the city’s rich history, one that community leaders are trying to reawaken.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Green Cove Springs is gearing up for one of its largest cultural celebrations, the 14th Annual Soul Food Festival.

People from as far away as Atlanta are expected to attend the weekend-long event.

But, it wasn't always the draw it is today.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Clay County officials outlined their legislative priorities in a two-hour meeting of the area’s legislative delegation Tuesday.

Clay County Supervisor of Elections Chris Chambliss aired his concerns regarding public records law.

Chambliss said personally identifying voter-registration information can be requested by anyone.

“We’ve had inmates who are serving life sentences that are making public records requests for individuals’ personal information, including their name, their full address and their full date of birth,” Chambliss said.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville’s Downtown Rotary Club discussed pension reform options today Monday with City Council President Greg Anderson.

A panel of experts weighed consolidating the city’s three pension funds and the possibility the city could take control of the fund with the most debt.  


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville residents may soon be able to enjoy a stiff drink with their meals at their favorite boutique restaurants.

That’s if a proposed local bill passes, expanding who can serve liquor within city limits.

Avondale and Riverside business owners are hoping the change will help them compete.  


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Northeast Florida lawmakers are opposing a plan for Central Florida to withdraw more than 150 million gallons of water from the St. Johns River every day.

The Duval County Legislative Delegation passed their mostly symbolic resolution Thursday.

Conservationists are applauding the delegation’s move.


Florida House

Update 9:51 am: In a statement emailed to WJCT Wednesday night, Adkins "apologized if her statements offended anyone," but said that her "comments regarding the proposed realignment of congressional district five (as recommended by the Florida Supreme Court) were an attempt to explain some of [the] issues that came up in debate during the redistricting special session."

State Rep. Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach) made headlines Wednesday for comments she made at a closed-door GOP meeting.

POLITICO Florida published a secretly recorded tape of Adkins’ statements. She told meeting attendees Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL5) will soon be more vulnerable because her proposed new district includes a larger prison population, taking some minority voters out of the equation.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Employees of one Jacksonville company will be the first in the region to test-drive a telemedicine kiosk.

By using cameras, Crowley Maritime employees can see a doctor for minor illnesses without ever leaving their workplace.  

Some state lawmakers are trying to expand telemedicine among the general public.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville’s utility company is in hot water after emails revealed possible violations of  state public-records law.

A Florida Times-Union investigation found JEA’s board may have used prepared statements to discuss decisions made ahead of public meetings.

The possible infraction is the latest issue straining JEA’s relationship with the mayor’s office.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Ten days after the anniversary of the Spanish landing at St. Augustine, the king and queen of Spain landed on the First Coast to celebrate.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano’s visit marks 14 years since the last time Spanish royalty visited America’s oldest city.


University of North Florida

A building on the University of North Florida campus is getting high marks from voters in an American Institute of Architects poll.

UNF’s student-wellness complex is ranked this year’s seventh-best designed in Florida.

The 75,000-square-foot building is the only Jacksonville structure in the top 10, beating out the Duval County Courthouse for the honor.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

After the second Republican presidential debate, the Duval County GOP is lacking consensus on who should win the party’s nomination for president.

Almost all of the major candidates had supporters in a San Marco bar Thursday night, where the local GOP gathered to watch the candidates battle for the spotlight.


AAA

About a fifth of Floridians are over the age of 65.

But instead of planning for final expenses, a recent AAA survey found half of Sunshine State residents don’t have life insurance.

Myths about coverage could be driving the low enrollment.


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