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Ryan Benk

Phone: (850) 487-3086  x368

Ryan Benk is originally from Miami, Florida and came to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University. He worked on Miami Dade College’s Arts and Literature Magazine- Miamibiance Magazine and has published poetry and a short film called “The Writer.” He’s currently working as the Newsroom’s Researcher while finishing his Creative Writing Bachelor’s Degree at Florida State University. When he’s not tracking down news, Ryan likes watching films, writing fiction and poetry, and exploring Florida.

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.

RYAN BENK / WJCT NEWS

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. 

Update 2:55 p.m., May 14: A spokesperson with Fiat Chrysler has designated May Airbag Recall Repair Month statewide, with an emphasis on Miami, Orlando and Tampa. The designation also applies to Jacksonville residents.

Florida has the highest number of injuries and fatalities as a result of defective Takata airbags, according to automakers.

An experimental vaccine could be on the market for ovarian-cancer patients as soon as 2022, according to the Jacksonville-based company that makes it.

The River City’s Mayo Clinic is participating in the trials.

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.

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.

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.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is directing the Transportation Department to implement new hurricane-evacuation and fuel-supply plans, including increasing emergency gas storage.


A bill making its way through the Florida Legislature could radically reform the way children are handled in the criminal justice system. The measure would put stricter limits on when and how juveniles can be tried as adults.

Florida is one of 15 states that allow prosecutors to unilaterally decide to charge children as adults. That process is called direct filing.


Another fact-finding expedition into why Jacksonville-based cargo ship El Faro sank in the Caribbean two years ago is set to take place Tuesday, this time in Congress.

A measure allocating $100 million annually for buying conservation lands is heading for the floor of the Florida Senate.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island).

Florida Governor Rick Scott stopped at a Jacksonville mechanical company Wednesday to rally support for his proposed $180 million tax cut package.

His proposal comes as the state faces budget uncertainty.  


As another Florida legislative session boots up in Tallahassee this week, lawmakers are set to take another whack at regulating telehealth.


Congress has passed a funding measure that keeps the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) going through March — the program insures hundreds of thousands of kids in Florida.

But without a permanent solution in place by the end of January, many families could see their coverage lapse and Governor Rick Scott won’t say whether they should be worried.


The percentage of Florida’s population properly inoculated against the flu is far lower than federal health officials recommend, according to a new report.

The Sunshine State has the 12th lowest vaccination rate in the country.


The National Transportation Safety Board Tuesday handed down 53 recommendations to various organizations for how they could beef up safety two years after cargo ship El Faro sank in the Caribbean, killing all 33 aboard.


With the release of the National Transportation Safety Board’s final report into the demise of cargo ship El Faro Tuesday, the families of the lost crew can close the book on a 30,500 hour effort to figure out precisely how the ship came to rest on the ocean’s floor.


Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown is hoping an appellate court overturns her fraud convictions after her sentencing Monday.

But one former Department of Justice prosecutor thinks the only thing certain about her chances is uncertainty.


Jacksonville has the highest rate of fentanyl-related deaths in the state, according to an annual Florida Department of Law Enforcement report.

Florida Governor Rick Scott Tuesday unveiled his last budget proposal as the state’s chief executive in Jacksonville.

Scott said it represents a historic investment across the board.


After years of failed attempts to expand Medicaid insurance coverage in Florida, one recently-formed group is pushing for something more — single payer.

Normally that means complete government control of health insurance.

But the drive for a package of constitutional amendments is focusing on a strategy that keeps private insurance intact.


A bill that would create a Florida system parallel to the existing federal Veterans Health Administration passed its first committee hearing Tuesday.

It would allow veterans to opt into the state’s Medicaid system in addition to or even instead of the VA.


More than a week after President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic; Florida lawmakers are considering implementing one of his federal recommendations on the state level.

Sunshine State leaders will decide whether to expand the use of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program during next year’s legislative session.

But one Jacksonville doctor says that measure is treating the wrong addiction crisis.


A month after the U.S. Coast Guard released its final report on the sinking of cargo freighter El Faro, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said he plans to file legislation.

But Nelson isn’t clear on exactly when or what kinds of measures he’d like to see implemented legislatively for a safer shipping industry.


A federal Food and Drug Administration advisory committee Wednesday recommended approval of a new injectable treatment for opioid addiction.

One Jacksonville addiction specialist participated in the drug trial that the panel examined data from.


Florida Governor Rick Scott stopped by the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Monday extolling his proposal for $1.7 billion in environmental funding next year — a more than $200 million boost from the current year.

But some critics are questioning the governor’s motive for the funding increase. Environmental groups who’ve traditionally been at odds with Scott are tepidly supportive of the governor’s proposal.


Although the mobile centers have packed up and left Duval County, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Friday it’s extending the deadline to apply for disaster assistance.

Ninety-four percent of Floridians live in areas experiencing more extreme heat days a year, according to a new study published Tuesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.  


Congressman John Rutherford, R-Florida, is spearheading an effort to bring more workforce training to returning veterans.

The measure would create a matching grant program housed in the Department of Veteran Affairs.


The brother of one of El Faro’s able bodied seamen who died when the ship went down is speaking out after the release of a 200-page report from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation.


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