Ryan Benk

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.

JEA’s sweeping expansion of solar power in Northeast Florida has been mostly praised as a big step into the future and criticism from renewable energy advocates has been more subdued than previous solar proposals.

But some are still concerned about the rollback of a special subsidy paid to rooftop solar users.

State Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, is sponsoring a measure that would allow Florida residents to petition a judge for a protective order against a family member who owns a gun, if that person is proven to be a danger to themselves or others.

UF Health Jacksonville hospital is getting more than $2 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch a telemedicine project to treat urban patients with HIV.

Telehealth is the practice of treating patients from a distance using technology like computers, tablets and other platforms.


The St. Johns River Water Management District, which encompasses parts of 18 central and northeastern Florida counties, said Tuesday Hurricane Irma dropped more than two trillion gallons of water across its service area.


This year’s State of the River Report concludes there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to some nutrients and pollutants that cause toxic algal blooms, including chlorophyll and fecal coliform. That’s even though levels of certain pollutants like phosphorus and nitrogen, have been trending downward in the last 10 years.


UF Health Jacksonville jumped 33 spots in an annual ranking of academic medical centers, according to hospital officials.

The City of Jacksonville is moving forward with plans to launch a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for their role in the city’s worsening opioid addiction crisis.

As a statewide panel of health care experts finalizes recommendations for a telemedicine regulatory framework in Florida, Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) is sponsoring a measure incorporating a number of their initial findings.


A “bi-partisan fix” to the Affordable Care Act is set to get its first hearing in the U.S. Senate Wednesday.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is sponsoring the bill, which would create a federal health reinsurance program.


It may become easier to find lawyers to represent special-needs kids if a Northeast Florida lawmaker’s bill is passed.

Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) wants taxpayers to cover court costs for their attorneys working pro bono.


Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) is asking the Florida Legislature to appropriate $25 million more dollars for springs restoration next year.

Bradley is building on a funding increase from the last legislative session.


Imagine being stranded without a ride to the doctor or arriving hours late to medical appointments that your life literally depends on. Those are Florida patients’ most common grievances with a company the state pays to arrange medical transportation for people with disabilities.  


The city of Jacksonville is considering suing prescription drug makers for deceptive marketing.

One city councilman believes pharmaceutical companies are complicit in Northeast Florida’s opioid addiction epidemic.


Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams is responding to comments made by President Donald Trump that some police departments, including Gainesville’s, have denounced for endorsing police brutality.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry Wednesday announced his plan to consolidate the city’s two major child-welfare programs and focus on those most in need.

Curry, a former Florida Republican Party chairman and self-described fiscal conservative, said a decade ago he changed some of his views on government intervention after meeting a 93-year-old Lakeland woman who was caring for six children.

A new exhibit at the Jacksonville Library is designed to shine a light on an uncomfortable reality: the prevalence of sexual violence.

“Survive to Thrive: Life Beyond Sexual Abuse” is meant to educate and unite the community around those affected.


In Jacksonville Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott said Congress should “do their job” and repeal the Affordable Care Act. But he said lawmakers must first craft something to replace it.


Changes to Florida’s child-welfare system, sponsored by Rep. Cyndi Stevenson (R-St. Augustine), are finally law after two years of debate in Tallahassee.

Stevenson said her 100-page measure gives investigators more power to keep kids safe.


Four Jacksonville projects aimed at making residents healthier are getting a collective $444,000 boost from the Humana Foundation.


St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver addressed the U.S. Green Building Council Thursday in Jacksonville.


A George Washington University and Commonwealth Fund report suggests Florida’s economy stands to lose big if Congress passes the current version of a measure repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Researchers estimate the Sunshine State could lose more than 80,000, two-thirds in the healthcare sector.


Orange Park Medical Center held its first doctor graduation ceremony Thursday evening.


 

Florida lawmakers last week approved rules for the expanded use of medical-marijuana and patients could start treatment in “the next several weeks,” according to one state senator.


Arguing that a Florida Supreme Court ruling “undermines” a federal patient-safety law, a Jacksonville hospital system is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a legal battle about the disclosure of medical records.


Jacksonville’s Wolfson Children’s Hospital is challenging the state’s rejection of its application to operate a trauma center.


At a health care conference in Jacksonville Tuesday, Florida’s surgeon general said help is on the way for Duval and other counties dealing with the opioid crisis.

More than $27 million federal dollars will be used in the regions most affected by addiction and overdoses. Counties are expected to get the extra federal funds as soon as June.


The University of North Florida is gearing up to host more than 200 medical professionals for the inaugural Future of Health Care conference.

The incoming president of the nation’s largest doctors’ group will kick off the event with a keynote address Monday.


Some nursing home representatives are cheering the delay of a state legislative proposal that would have changed how Medicaid funds flow to assisted living facilities in Florida.

Right now, facilities bill the state for care and are reimbursed. The plan would allott the homes a flat rate.

A bill adding more drugs to Florida’s prescription-medicine price database is heading to Governor Rick Scott’s desk for his signature.

The measure was sponsored by two Jacksonville lawmakers: Rep. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville, and Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach.


Jacksonville city attorneys have been granted a deadline extension as they grapple with the details of a settlement allowing for a Springfield apartment complex for the disabled and chronically homeless.

The U.S. Justice Department found the city violated disability and fair housing laws when it rejected the permit for the complex sought by nonprofit Ability Housing.

A new national survey finds disability prejudice is the most common form of housing discrimination.


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