Ryan Benk

REPORTER / HOST "Indie Endeavour"

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station 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.

Ryan left WJCT News in August 2018 to explore new pursuits. 

State of Florida

A stately house with a complicated history is being auctioned off in Jacksonville’s Riverside neighborhood.

Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville

Florida Times-Union photojournalist Bob Self is getting a grant to print and frame pictures he took in Jacksonville’s LaVilla neighborhood before its mostly-black residents were displaced and most of its historic buildings were bulldozed in the mid-90s.

The Jacksonville Daily Record

While apartment construction in the rest of the country dipped over the last year, the Jacksonville metro apartment inventory grew by more than half over the same time period, according to preliminary data and projections compiled by apartment market researcher Yardi Matrix.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The Navy wants residents using drinking wells in two areas near Naval Air Station Jacksonville to have their groundwater tested. That’s two years after a federal health advisory was issued for certain chemicals used during firefighting training on the base.   

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Two weeks after state officials found toxic algae in Doctors Lake more than 10 times the amount considered safe under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, local and state officials are vowing help is on its way.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

One-in-6 people in Northeast Florida already work in the health or life sciences industries, and United Health Group — which includes United Health insurance — is looking to add more.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

As Jacksonville officials grapple with how to preserve the city’s African-American history, council members are debating whether to protect one Northside neighborhood.

Grid Engine / Wikimedia Commons

Update 4:03 p.m.: This story has been updated to include comments from Airbnb Florida.

Like the protracted legal and legislative battle over supervising ride-hailing smartphone apps like Uber and Lyft, the Jacksonville City Council is again finding itself in the middle of a regulatory Catch-22 that is costing it tax revenue.

The Jacksonville airport will open a premium lounge early next year, if all goes to plan.

Jacksonville flooding
Robert Torbert

Florida’s 14 nonprofit waterkeepers are asking environmental regulators to conduct an audit of the state’s vulnerability to storms and sea level rise.

The water watch-dogs say Florida is not planning well enough for the effects of climate change.

exterior of Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville
Memorial Hospital

Jacksonville’s Memorial Hospital this week received state approval to operate its trauma center that’s a specialized facility treating the most gravely injured patients.

After a few days of black activists demanding St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver denounce and stop advertising with a blogger who sent a racist email to a subscriber, Shaver said she’s discontinued their professional relationship and condemned the “name calling.” 

Jacob Board / Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida

Next month, a group of 11 black community leaders will embark on an inaugural yearlong course designed to help build out the local network of people of color in nonprofits. The Leadership Accelerator course is funded with a $63,000 grant from JP Morgan Chase’s Nonprofit Capacity Building Program.

Sam Bogle / WJCT News

As a pilot program to intervene in opioid overdoses in Jacksonville reports continued success, a plan to create a permanent epidemic panel and city treatment trust fund is taking sharper shape.

UF Health Jacksonville

If the Jacksonville City Council gives the OK to Mayor Lenny Curry’s annual budget proposal, UF Health Jacksonville, which serves as a safety net for many uninsured and underinsured patients, could receive as much as $15 million in the coming fiscal year. Curry is also proposing for $120 million in local dollars to go fixing the hospital’s city-owned facilities over the next six years as a part of his capital improvement plan.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

At Jacksonville City Hall Friday, it became official — the city’s Main Post Office in New Town is now known as the Rutledge Pearson Post Office.

Pearson was a civil rights era titan not only known for his own advocacy, but his mentoring of young activists who went on to participate in the city’s most pivotal protests.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Northeast Florida parents of autistic children and their therapists are calling on state health regulators to speed up Medicaid coverage approvals for a specific therapy.

Applied Behavioral Analysis is widely used to help autistic people control harmful behaviors and learn to communicate better.

But advocates said a recent state-contractor switch is making patients miss treatment.

A few weeks after a special Jacksonville committee on civil rights history turned in its final report, the body’s most ambitious goals still seem like far-flung dreams.

But some are holding out hope the recommendations could spur a revival in one of the city’s most storied black neighborhoods.

WJCT News and Florida Times-Union

The City of Jacksonville has filed a motion to become a defendant in a Northside woman’s lawsuit against Gov. Rick Scott and newly-appointed Councilman Terrance Freeman, according to documents obtained by our Jacksonville Daily Record news partner.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A lawyer and resident of Jacksonville’s Northside is asking a Duval County judge for emergency relief in her lawsuit against Florida Governor Rick Scott and newly-minted District 10 Councilman Terrance Freeman.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A Jacksonville lawyer is suing Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan for allegedly failing to properly give notice to candidates before a Jacksonville City Council special election.

The dispute comes after Westside City Councilman Doyle Carter announced last month he’s stepping down to run for tax collector.

Exterior of Jacksonville City Hall.
Joslyn Simmons / WJCT

Terrance Freeman and Ju’Coby Pittman are set to be sworn in at Jacksonville City Hall Thursday afternoon after being appointed to temporarily replace two suspended council members under federal indictment.

Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Bar has put together a judicial candidate guide just in time for the August 28 elections.

News4Jax

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is fining a Jacksonville ship repairer $271,061 after the death of an employee this year.

North Florida Shipyards Inc. has about a week left to contest the fine.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

Jeff Greene wants Democrats to vote for him in the August primary for Florida governor. Don’t know who he is? Well, he’s hoping that changes and quickly.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Northeast Florida soccer fans are cheering Russia’s best World Cup performance since the Soviet era.

Dick Daniels / Wikimedia Commons

Florida State Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, doesn’t mince words about Florida’s fireworks rules.

“Florida has the goofiest laws in the nation when it comes to regulation of fireworks,” he said.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

As the world warms, populations of certain male reptiles are declining and that could spell extinction for alligators in the Sunshine State.

One University of North Florida scientist is hatching hundreds of gators to try and track the phenomenon.

The National Transportation Safety Board

Legislation has been filed in response to the death of 33 crew members on the sunken cargo ship El Faro in 2015.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

After more than five months of discussion, deliberation and research, the 27-member Jacksonville Task Force on Civil Rights History handed in its 30-page report detailing the city’s long and storied history of black pain and triumph.

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