Four things to know about the upcoming 12th Congressional District debates:
* What question would you ask the candidates if you were on the journalist panel for the first 12th Congressional District debate, scheduled for next Wednesday night in Carbondale? We are collecting suggestions from readers. Please send your question or questions to email@example.com. Serious suggestions only, please.
* Organizers have added a third name to the lineup for the three scheduled debates. Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw, a nurse from Carbondale, will join Democrat Bill Enyart and Republican Jason Plummer since Bradshaw's name will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. The three are vying to succeed U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D- Belleville, who is retiring after this term.
* Representatives of the three candidates and the sponsors of the debates -- the Belleville News-Democrat, The Southern Illinoisan, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University and WSIU-TV, a public television station -- met Wednesday to nail down final details of the Aug. 15 debate, the first in the series of three. You can watch the debate live at bnd.com or on WSIU-TV from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The second debate is scheduled for Sept. 20 in the Marion Cultural and Civic Center.
* The third congressional debate, which will be held at Lindenwood University in Belleville, has been rescheduled for Oct. 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium. We changed the date from Oct. 3 because the first presidential debate is scheduled for that day. And we certainly didn't want to take audience away from the presidential candidates!