As journalists, we find stories in all kinds of places.
Sometimes it comes from a meeting we’ve attended. Sometimes it’s observations. Other times it’s from rumors or whispers we hear. Often, these are nothing more than rumors. We aren’t in the business of reporting on rumors — we need facts.
So this story begins.
It was a warm summer day on the Worthington Country Club when a man approached me.
“What are they doing with the empty lot by McDonald’s?” he asked.
“I have no idea,” I said, “but I”ll look into it.”
Well, I did.
At that point, there was nothing to report. Just rumors. In fact, the land was being surveyed, and nothing more.
Fast forward a few months.
It’s now a chilly winter day in December. And I hear rumblings again about the empty lot of land between McDonald’s and the Subway/Cellular Only building.
So, once again, I look into it.
This time, there was more to the story.
I found out the parcel number of that property and found it on the Nobles County website.
What I found was the land was sold from McDonald’s USA, LLC. to Appbiz Mobile, LLC in August — coincidentally about the same time I was asked about it first. The sale price was listed at $200,000.
OK. So, now I know.
But who is Appbiz Mobile?
This is where Google comes in.
Appbiz Mobile is registered to Arlie Brende of Sioux Falls, S.D., according the the South Dakota Secretary of State website.
The last document I found that was filed was the 2013 annual report.
On that report is an address. That address is one of the Cellular Only stores in Sioux Falls.
So, I put two and two together.
Does that mean Worthington is getting a new Cellular Only store?
Not so much.
According to the Worthington store manager, Josh, there were plans. But not anymore.
“It’s supposed to be our new store,” Josh told me last week. “But we’re going through an acquisition to B Mobile. In regard to the land over there, I don’t know if that’s part of the acquisition… The initial idea was to build a new Cellular Only store there, however what’s going to happen over the next couple of weeks and couple of months going into the spring, I don’t know for sure.”
Josh said the change in company won’t affect the Worthington store. B Mobile is predominate in the Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota regions and purchased five of the eight Cellular Only stores.
“This store won’t change other than just a different name on an invoice,” Josh said.
So after all of the digging and work, it turns out there isn’t a story — for now. Not saying we won’t keep an eye on that piece of land and future plans involving it, but for now the lesson is sometimes there really is no story.