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

Political newcomer LaShonda “L-J” Holloway is vying to represent Florida’s 5th Congressional district. 

The Jacksonville Democrat announced she’s challenging fellow Democrat, Congresswoman Corrine Brown.

Holloway had to compete with none other than Brown herself for attention at Hemming Park Monday.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Florida Senator Bill Nelson may propose reforms to maritime law to address safety concerns after the sinking of the El Faro cargo ship.

Nelson was in Jacksonville Friday to tour a similar ship owned by the same company as the El Faro.

Jacksonville City Hall, St. James Building
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

The Jacksonville watchdog group Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County is suing the city over City Council members’ text messaging during meetings.

Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law mandates that any communications public officials have about issues that they will decide on must be done in the full view of the public. 

The group said the violation of the "Sunshine" law should reverse the council’s decision to keep 17 firefighters from losing promotions.

In September, the City Council reversed course on demoting the firefighters after council members coordinated via text message.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The largest city in Florida is getting its own IKEA store.

The Swedish home goods company says it will break ground in Jacksonville next summer with an anticipated opening date of fall 2017.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A WWII veteran who lives in Jacksonville is having his story archived in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

His video interview is part of an initiative called the Veterans History Project, aimed at preserving combat-veterans’ experiences for future generations.

Wells Fargo

JEA Board Vice Chairwoman Lisa Weatherby resigned a week after Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry first demanded it.

Weatherby announced her resignation in a letter Tuesday amidst controversy over how the board conducts its official business.

Jacksonville City Hall, St. James Building
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee says it will subpoena Police and Fire Pension Fund executives for documents as part of an audit.

Committee Chairman Bill Gulliford says the independent auditor is being stonewalled when asking for information accessible only by former pension fund administrator John Keane.

“He said that he had instances where he got that response back — no documents or whatever,” Gulliford said, “and yet he had physical emails or letters from another source that indicated those documents were available. Now, which is it? Who’s fibbing?”

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.