5 stories to follow: Oct. 16

As moderator Jim Rosenfield, center, looks on, U.S. Senate candidates Democrat Cory Booker, left, and Republican Steve Lonegan, right, shake hands at the start of their second and final debate of the campaign at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, a week before today's election. (AP photo)

Here's your daily look at five stories to know about:

1. Election day: Today is the special election to fill New Jersey's vacant U.S. Senate seat. Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Steve Lonegan are vying to replace the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Polls are open until 8 p.m., and both candidates are working to get supporters to show up to vote on the unusual election day.

2. Debt deal: It remains unclear whether Congress will reach a last-minute deal to avoid a federal default and reopen the federal government. The Obama administration says the country will reach its debt ceiling Thursday, risking a federal default. Some lawmakers remain optimistic, but there is no clear plan for avoiding default.

3. Building collapse hearing: A hearing in federal court is set for this afternoon over whether architect Plato A. Marinakos Jr. should have to hand over correspondence, photos and video related to demolition work at 22nd and Market streets. A building collapse at the site in June left six people dead, and Marinakos is fighting a federal subpoena for some documents.

4. Historical renovations: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania will celebrate a $5.7-million renovation today. And for the next two weeks, the society will showcase treasures from its collections to the public. Rare items on display will include the only known portraits of William Penn and his wife, and a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by Abraham Lincoln.

5. Inquirer talks: Private talks between newsroom union leaders and the owners of Interstate General Media are set for today (IGM is the parent company of the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com). The talks come after publisher Robert Hall fired Inquirer editor William Marimow last week, making public a fight between two IGM owners, and after Teamsters members protested against Hall outside the newspaper's office on Tuesday.