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

Jacksonville’s new Task Force on Civil Rights History is diving deep into the city’s role in the modern Civil Rights Movement.

Exterior of Jacksonville City Hall.
Joslyn Simmons / WJCT

The Jacksonville City Council is expected to vote on several measures Tuesday night touching on issues ranging from business to blight, but by the time bills go up for a vote, that means it’s too late for the public to comment.

Modern Cities

The Downtown Investment Authority Wednesday approved two downtown development proposals — the renovation of the old Jones Brothers Furniture building and the Jacksonville University film school’s move to WJCT Studios.

The Jones building project stirred up the most debate.

Wikimedia Commons

A special committee of JEA’s board that’s exploring privatization met for the first time Tuesday.

Edward Waters College
Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Candidates for the top job at Jacksonville’s only historically black college will meet with students and faculty Wednesday.

Edward Waters College has named the two finalists to replace outgoing President Nat Glover.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche Friday discussed her recently frosty relationship with Mayor Lenny Curry at the First Coast Tiger Bay Club.

She said the city’s residents deserve a government that is both transparent and amicable.

Creative Commons

A trio of health clinics for cash-strapped seniors is opening in Jacksonville this summer.

The primary-care clinics are set to serve as many as 9,000 people.

Florida Frontiers/Florida Memory

There’s some disagreement about whether Jacksonville should apply to be part of a newly-created U.S. Civil Rights Trail.

That was a sticking point Wednesday at the first meeting of a new committee created to inventory Jacksonville’s Civil Rights history.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed a pair of veterans-focused bills. He held the signing ceremony Tuesday at Jacksonville’s National Guard armory.

The measures are meant to make it easier for vets and active duty service members to get an education and a job.

WKU / Creative Commons

As the number of opioid overdoses continues climbing in Northeast Florida, a new clinic focused on battling addiction is opening in Springfield, just north of downtown Jacksonville.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said he’s impressed with the work of a Jacksonville nonprofit that helps ex-offenders re-enter society.

Carson heard a number of their stories when he toured the downtown campus of Operation New Hope Friday.

City of Jacksonville

JEA’s income has dipped over the last decade, according to a presentation Thursday before a special City Council committee that’s considering selling the publicly-owned company.

Andrew Seaman / Creative Commons

After weeks of uncertainty, the directors of Florida programs meant to reduce infant mortality are breathing a sigh of relief.

Lawmakers Wednesday agreed to keep their funding the same as last year instead of slashing it by 30 percent, which is what Senate leaders wanted to do.

Torsten Mangner / Creative Commons

Update 1:40 p.m.: Florida budget chiefs have agreed on a proposed spending plan. It's still unclear how Healthy Start Coalitions fared. This is a developing story.

If Florida Senate leaders get their way, a statewide network of prenatal care providers will see an approximately 30 percent funding cut.

St. Johns River Water Management District

Florida lawmakers have agreed on funding for the state’s conservation-land-buying program, Florida Forever. The plan is to spend more than 100-million-dollars on it next year.

But a stalled measure would’ve guaranteed recurring funding for years to come.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The future of spinal injury therapy is now and in Jacksonville. Brooks Rehabilitation hospital announced Friday that it’s the first in the country to offer a new kind of robotic treatment.

Wikimedia Commons

Addiction specialists and law enforcement officials are pleading with Florida House members to keep funding for an injectable opioid-addiction treatment.

The House’s proposed budget zeroes out funding for Vivitrol, a drug that blocks opioid receptors in the brain for 30 days.

Ryan Ketterman / Visit Jacksonville

Environmental groups and local governments are sounding the alarm about Florida legislative proposals that would change how new development is planned.

The most wide-ranging measure is heading to the House floor.

Wokandapix / Pixabay Creative Commons

Florida lawmakers are debating several measures aimed at preventing mass shootings, and some law enforcement officials are calling for another one: Making it easier to detain certain people suffering from mental illness.

But the leader of the state’s largest psychologist lobbying group cautions that unfairly puts too many people in the crosshairs.

NFLRoads.com

Construction on the Mathews Bridge has finished more than two weeks early.

Associated Press

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Friday announced what he’s calling his “major action plan” to help prevent mass shootings like last week’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Jacksonville City Councilman John Crescimbeni.
Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville Councilman John Crescimbeni wants to call for a straw ballot vote, asking voters if the city should sell public utility company JEA.

Crescimbeni unveiled his legislation Thursday at a public meeting.

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

African-Americans and Latinos are twice as likely as whites to be denied traditional home loans in the Jacksonville area.

That’s the takeaway from a national investigation into unequal mortgage lending by Reveal and Center for Investigative Reporting.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

If public utility JEA were to be sold, it could net the city of Jacksonville as much as $6.4 billion, according to a final evaluation report released Wednesday.

The sale price was revealed during a contentious city council meeting.

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Workers’ compensation company One Call is consolidating its two Jacksonville locations into a prominent building on the Southbank of the St. Johns River.

Ability Housing

The Jacksonville nonprofit Ability Housing is getting $150,000 in extra help from a charitable fund to hire new staff and house more people.

JEA

Jacksonville Councilman Matt Schellenberg has filed a bill that would put strict controls on how proceeds from a potential sale of JEA could be spent.

electric meters
MassMatt via Flickr

A draft of a report valuing community-owned utility JEA was released Wednesday.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Nine of Jacksonville’s 19 council members discussed the potential JEA sale before a throng of utility employees Tuesday.

Vivitrol

Florida House members are considering cutting funding for programs that supply patients with a powerful addiction-fighting drug.

A Jacksonville addiction specialist says that move could make it harder to stem the opioid epidemic.

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