07:28 PM EDT 11/19/2013
Originally posted 11/18/2013 08:35AM
As a powerful tornado bore down on their Illinois farmhouse, Curt Zehr's wife and adult son didn't have time to do anything but scramble down the stairs into their basement.
Uninjured, the pair looked out moments later to find the house gone and the sun out "right on top" of them, Zehr said. Their home, on the outskirts of Washington, Ill., was swept up and scattered over hundreds of yards by one of the dozens of tornadoes and intense thunderstorms that swept across the Midwest on Sunday, leaving at least six people dead and unleashing powerful winds that flattened entire neighborhoods, flipped over cars and uprooted trees.
"They saw [the tornado] right there and got in the basement," said a stunned Zehr, pointing to the farm field near the rubble that had been his home.
Originally posted 10/08/2013 09:35AM
Robin Thicke's loved-up lyrics came to life this weekend when he stepped out with wife Paula Patton in Chicago.
After the "Blurred Lines" singer's performance at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, he joined the Baggage Claim actress for a romantic dinner at Chicago Cut Steakhouse on Saturday.
"They were kissing throughout dinner," an onlooker tells PEOPLE. "At one point, they even stepped outside to stand over the river and hold hands."
Thicke opted for salad and dover sole, while Patton enjoyed salad and crab legs.
"They looked very much in love," the source adds.
Originally posted 08/18/2013 02:35PM
Jenny McCarthy has proved that her relationship with Donnie Wahlberg is on and strong.
The new host of The View recently made a little trip to the Jockey store at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago, where she swooped up some goodies for herself and her man.
McCarthy picked up Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts "in every color," a source tells PEOPLE, adding that she also snagged some undies for Wahlberg.
"While Jenny was shopping, she was reminiscing on her retail days at Bloomingdales in high school," the source says. "She also talked about how great Donnie is, and how she plans to split her time between her home in Chicago and New York City, where she films The View." –Dahvi Shira
Originally posted 08/07/2013 06:00AM
In town for Lollapalooza festivities, Kellan Lutz stopped by Miami lounge in Chicago, where he was able to sneak in some downtime with his brothers and close pals.
Lutz and his crew immediately made their way to the Barefoot Wine & Bubbly bar where they "quickly started chatting up several adoring ladies who were professing their love," a source tells PEOPLE.
"The actor talked to the girls about his upcoming Expendables 3 role and even did an impression of his costar, Arnold Schwarzenegger."
Originally posted 06/30/2013 10:05AM
After tying the knot on June 22, George Lucas and Mellody Hobson are still celebrating.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Lucas and Hobson hosted friends and family at Chicago's Promontory Point – including Prince, Robin Williams, Mark Hamill, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Al Roker, Gayle King, Jesse Jackson and Ne-Yo.
Performing with a 22-piece band under a large tent, Prince provided the evening's entertainment for Hobson, a Chicago native, and Lucas.
Originally posted 05/20/2013 05:15PM
A manager of Chicago's Navy Pier rode the tourist spot's Ferris wheel for more than two days – 384 times, up and around – bringing the world record for the longest ride to the birthplace of the amusement park favorite.
"I thought Chicago should have that title," Clinton Shepherd said after finishing his record-breaking ride on Sunday. Shepherd, the park operations manager, spent 48 hours, 8 minutes and 25 seconds riding Navy Pier's Ferris wheel over the weekend.
The first Ferris wheel was built in 1893 in Chicago for the World's Columbian Exposition.
Originally posted 02/28/2013 12:00PM
Call it First Lady's night!
Michelle Obama and a female friend dined at Giuliana and Bill Rancic's restaurant, RPM Italian, in Chicago on Wednesday night.
As she entered the front door of the bustling River North restaurant, the First Lady – who was dressed in all black – received applause from the surprised room of diners, an onlooker tells PEOPLE.
Originally posted 01/10/2013 06:00AM
After attending the after party for An Evening with the Chicago Bulls charity event at Studio Paris benefiting Bright Pink in Chicago Tuesday, Lady Gaga and boyfriend Taylor Kinney stepped out for a late night dinner.
Joined by a group of friends, Gaga and the Chicago Fire actor stopped into RPM Italian – owned by Bill and Giuliana Rancic – for some homestyle fare.
The group ordered up dishes including lobster caprese, insalata bianca, duck agnolotti, Sicilian pork arrosti, Mediterranean octopus, Mama DePandi's bucatini pomorodo and short rib pappardelle among others.
Originally posted 12/27/2012 05:10PM
After spending some quality time in Iowa over the holidays, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis visited Chicago on Thursday.
Around noon, the couple stopped into eco-friendly restaurant Prasino.
"They were both very courteous to the staff and flirtatious with each other," an onlooker tells PEOPLE.
At the restaurant celebrated for its farm-to-table cuisine, the former That 70s Show costars shared dishes including the short rib skillet and Florentine crepes.
– Jennifer Garcia
Originally posted 10/26/2012 06:00AM
Being Justin Bieber has its perks.
After performing to a sold-out crowd at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., Tuesday night, Bieber ordered two pizzas to go from Chicago's famed Giordano's. The staff at the restaurant's Rush Street location stayed open late just to make the superstar his stuffed cheese and thin-crust cheese pies, then send them to his downtown hotel.
Minutes after his pies arrived, the singer sent a pal back to the pizzeria with a note expressing his gratitude – and love for the snacks. Staffers responded by saying they'd ship him pizzas on tour anytime. Now that's service.
– Jennifer Garcia
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