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. 

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.

City of Jacksonville

Jacksonville City Council Members Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown have pleaded not guilty to 38 federal charges stemming from an alleged scheme to fraudulently draw down a federally backed loan.

Joslyn Simmons / WJCT News

A D.C.-based think tank has some suggestions for how the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s planned Skyway replacement can be successful, according to a presentation Friday.

But they’re not the kind of tweaks you can make overnight.

City of Jacksonville

At a court appearance Thursday afternoon, suspended City Councilwoman Katrina Brown asked for a court-appointed attorney. The judge agreed that she could not afford private counsel and will get a court-appointed attorney to her before her next court appearance.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

An independent group working at the behest of outgoing Jacksonville City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche has finalized a report detailing how the city can do more to leverage its civil rights history, 54 years after the U.S. Senate passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Lynsey Weatherspoon / NPR

On June 19, the national anniversary celebrating of the end of slavery, Jacksonville City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche said she intends to file legislation setting up a strategy for the city to claim a piece of its painful history. In many southern cities, the celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Bruce Lipsky / Florida Times Union

A majority of journalists and other staffers at The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville’s newspaper of record and a WJCT news partner, has signaled an intent to unionize.

Bruce Lipsky / The Florida Times Union

A few days after three women overdosed in the Duval County jail, the facility’s former director Tara Wildes is calling the incident not an “extremely common” one.

Dennis Ho / Folio Weekly

Tony Allegretti, who’s helmed the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville for the last four years, is stepping down to pursue a “significant opportunity” and “build on my family’s entrepreneurial endeavors.”

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Suspended city council members Reggie Brown and Katrina Brown were in court again Thursday a couple of weeks after a 38-count federal fraud indictment against them was unsealed.

wildflower at preserve
Adam Arendell

An early proposal to swap state-owned conservation land at the Julington-Durbin Preserve for acreage 45 minutes to the north at Black Hammock Island is eliciting an early wave of criticism and it hasn’t even been officially submitted to state regulators.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

At least nine months out from Jacksonville’s next mayoral election, the JAX Chamber’s political arm is throwing its considerable weight behind Mayor Lenny Curry’s bid for reelection.

Jacksonville flooding
Robert Torbert

Hurricane Irma showed Jacksonville just how destructive the vicious combination of low-lying land, rising tides and a slow-moving monster storm could be. 

Ryan Ketterman / Visit Jacksonville

The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization is in the embryonic stages of a downtown test model meant to showcase the power of collaborative data. 

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

As the deadline for a city report on civil rights history approaches its late June deadline, some civil rights history task force members are urging incoming Jacksonville City Council President Aaron Bowman to allow the body to continue its work.

Exterior of Jacksonville City Hall.
Joslyn Simmons / WJCT

Incoming Jacksonville City Council President Aaron Bowman is “amenable” to allowing the city’s Task Force on Civil Rights history to continue its work through his tenure. But not without narrowing its scope and focusing its charge.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

In the last two years, four elected officials from Jacksonville have been indicted on federal charges of fraud.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

David White has been one of the captains at the helm of the St. Johns River Ferry’s Jean Ribault 40-car vessel for five years.

City of Jacksonville

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has suspended Jacksonville City Council members Reggie Brown and Katrina Brown. The news comes a day after a federal indictment was unsealed showing the pair faces 38 charges, including fraud.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Updated 6:03 p.m.: This story was updated to include new details on the case and quotes from Reggie Brown. 

Jacksonville City Council members Reggie Brown and Katrina Brown have been indicted on 38 counts of fraud and other charges related to Katrina Brown’s family’s barbecue sauce business.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams (left) and State Attorney Melissa Nelson (right).
Ryan Benk / WJCT News

State Attorney Melissa Nelson is rolling out a court diversion program to help people with suspended driver’s licenses get back on the road faster.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

For the third year in a row a counseling project spearheaded by Jacksonville’s Wayman Ministries will get state funding. State Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, helped shepherd the $150,000 appropriation that Pastor Mark Griffin said will go to counselor salaries and other supplies.

Wikimedia Commons

Clinical trials can allow doctors to test potentially life-saving medicines, but they depend on brave patients’ participation.

Wikimedia Commons

An environmental engineer and professor emeritus at the University of Florida with decades of experience in water reclamation and regulation said there are risks involved with converting highly-treated reclaimed water to drinking water, but some of those same risks already exist in our current hydrologic system.

Ryan Ketterman / Visit Jacksonville

CityHealth, an initiative founded by the de Beaumont Foundation and health insurer Kaiser Permanente, rates Jacksonville near the bottom for policies that encourage good health and a positive quality of life.

Creative Commons

Jacksonville’s Emergency Pregnancy Services center is holding a fundraiser Wednesday night at Bold City Brewery in Riverside and protesters will be there to greet them.

Tampa Bay area counties – including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota  - all saw decreases in total  crime between 3.3 and 14.2 percent, according to the 2017 Uniform Crime Report, which was released Tuesday. 

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Crime in the Jacksonville area has seen a drop, but still trends higher than statewide numbers, according to the 2017 Uniform Crime Report which was released Tuesday.

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