Ben Benton (Reporter, Photographer)

Phone: 423-757-6569
Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee, North Georgia and Northeast Alabama. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties. Ben was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. He has a bachelor's degree in communications from the the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 2014, he placed third in the Green Eyeshade Awards for Disaster Coverage- All Dailies for his story on the South Pittsburg flood, and third place in the Specialized Site category for the newspaper's Civil War 150th anniversary online special section. Ben previously worked at The Daily Post-Athenian in Athens, Tenn., The Herald-News, in Dayton, Tenn., and at the Knoxville Journal, in Knoxville, Tenn. Ben, a lifelong UT fan, lives in Chattanooga with his wife, Lisa, and has been a Chattanooga resident since 1988. Ben has one son, Benjy, who works in town as a web developer. When he's not working, Ben likes to cook and hit the backroads in search of barbecue and the region's natural beauty. Contact Ben at or or or 423-757-6569.

Both lanes of State Route 68 in Rhea County reopened

Published Jul. 19 2018

Both lanes of State Route 68 in Rhea County were reopened to traffic.

Black bears spreading across North Alabama

Published Jul. 18 2018

Wildlife officials say black bears have been sighted this year in counties all across North Alabama, evidence the furry beast...

Preliminary autopsy in North Carolina inmate death finds no obvious cause or trauma

Published Jul. 18 2018

Preliminary findings released Friday from an autopsy of a 30-year-old man who died in custody last week at the Cherokee...


State Route 68 closed Wednesday, Thursday as Rhea County slide repair nears completion

Published Jul. 17 2018

As TDOT crews in Rhea County, Tennessee, continue an ongoing battle with scattered gully-washers, the state will close State Route...

Van Buren County sex offender indicted on new sexual exploitation charge

Published Jul. 17 2018

A Van Buren County registered sex offender is behind bars on child exploitation charges related to incidents that happened between...

Forest Service cuts timbering plan for logging along Tumbling Creek in Polk County, Tennessee

Published Jul. 2 2018

The U.S. Forest Service last week withdrew its 2017 decision that seemingly gave the green light on the 3,700-acre Dinkey...

Work on rockslide damage in Rhea, Grundy and Van Buren counties continues [photos]

Published Jul. 2 2018

Storms, traffic delays and materials deliveries have conspired to slow repairs to slide damage in State Route 68's ascending lane...

Dunlap man gets 20 years in child sexual battery plea

Published Jun. 29 2018

A 23-year-old Dunlap, Tennessee, man was sentenced to 20 years in a child rape case involving a victim younger than...

Athens police pick up the split in bowling lane burglary

Published Jun. 28 2018

Bowling lane burglars strike out in Athens, Tennessee.

Primitive technology demonstrations set July 7 at Russell Cave

Published Jun. 27 2018

Step back in time a few thousand years with primitive technology expert Scott Jones to learn about the technology used...

Body found on Rock Creek Greenway identified

Published Jun. 27 2018

A woman's body found last week along the Rock Creek Greenway in Tullahoma, Tennessee, has been identified.

Sequatchie's ballot in August a free-for-all

Published Jun. 24 2018

Since Sequatchie County, Tennessee elections are nonpartisan and the county holds no local primaries, the August general election ballot has...


Alabama man out on bond after being booked on 15 child sex charges including rape, sodomy

Published Jun. 21 2018

A Hollywood, Alabama, man is free on $405,000 bond after being booked Tuesday in Jackson County on 15 counts of...

Snodgrass bridge in Jackson County reopened to traffic

Published Jun. 21 2018

The bridge on Alabama Highway 117 over the Tennessee River in Jackson County, Alabama, has been reopened to traffic.

Auditors ding The Bridge at South Pittsburg nursing home in three findings

Published Jun. 21 2018

A nursing home in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, was dinged in a state audit for almost $50,000 in unallowable expenses, inaccurate...

'Wrong turn' at McMinn County sheriff's house lands pair in jail

Published Jun. 18 2018

A man and woman traveling a remote, Southeast Tennessee country road spied who they believed was a police officer behind...

Cleveland High's 'Graduates of Distinction' number 18 strong

Published Jun. 14 2018

Cleveland High School graduates Brian Byerly and Breana Shields say the honor of being among the school's 18 "2018 Graduates...

Jackson County bridge closure to cause major detours June 18-22

Published Jun. 12 2018

The closure of a bridge over the Tennessee River in Jackson County, Ala., for repairs that start June 18 will...

Newly updated Rhea Heritage and Scopes Trial Museum unveiled in Dayton, Tenn.

Published Jun. 12 2018

The significance and history of the Rhea County Courthouse and the famous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial is told better than...

As bear sightings increase, officials urge residents to not feed them

Published Jun. 11 2018

The Chattanooga region's largest predator, the black bear, is out and about this time of year and wildlife officials say...