It has been over six months since BY Local News LLC (BYLN) became a business. If you have wondered who is behind BYLN, let me introduce and tell you a little about myself.
My name is Karen Lagrange Cox, and my husband, Larry, and I have been residents of Broussard since 2014. I like including my maiden name since there are many women with the name Karen Cox. Plus, I like the sound of my maiden name.
I have been in the web design / online marketing business for the last twenty-three years. Back in 1999, I became fascinated with web design, how it worked, and how a website got onto the internet. After learning web design, I started creating websites professionally. My web design experience made it easy to create the website for BYLN.
One of the reasons for creating BYLN was my dad. Last year he returned to Camelot Nursing Home in Broussard for the second time. He grumpily said, “there’s not even a newspaper here!” I told him, “Wait, there will be”. He did see BYLN on my cell phone; however, he passed away six days before I made it a business in October 2022.
And I roped in Larry into being the photographer for BYLN, so BYLN is a family affair.
Giving back to my community is something I enjoy doing. I look at BYLN as a way for me to give back. BYLN is rewarding for me – it allows me to meet people and learn about businesses, organizations, and issues while providing locals with information they may miss getting.
Learning and sharing local history, whether it be through information or photos, is a love of mine.
And genealogy! I love the “detective” work involved with finding ancestors and connections. I have recently learned I am a descendant, at least two ways, from Beausoleil’s brother Claude Broussard (he never made it to Louisiana).
For many years before and after starting my web design business, I strongly advocated for home and community-based services for children with developmental disabilities on the state level. Some of my advocacy was also on the federal and local levels. My advocacy was due to my beautiful daughter, Alison Higginbotham, who will soon be thirty-five years old, having a rare seizure disorder as an infant called infantile spasms. Alison was left with severe physical and mental disabilities. The highlight of my advocacy was Alison and I testifying before a House Ways and Means Subcommittee in 1995 regarding assistance for children with developmental disabilities. Alison is non-verbal; therefore, her testimony was her presence.
Growing up, I was fortunate to have had the experience of being a military brat, more specifically, an Army brat. Within fifteen years, we moved fourteen times. This allowed me to meet many people, many with different cultures. And I got to live in places I wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to do. We lived in three different places in Germany and spent almost five years there. Weiner schnitzel, bratwurst and Brötchen were favorites of mine. Gummy bears hadn’t made it to the States then, so these were a favorite of mine, too. Leaving friends behind was difficult each time we moved. Thanks to the internet and particularly Facebook, I have been able to get reacquainted with childhood friends.
I must chuckle when thinking of newspapers. Despite only having a fourth-grade education, my grandmother made it a priority to stay informed by reading the newspaper. If we lived away, she would roll up the newspaper, tie it with string, and mail it to my mother. When mom would receive the newspapers, she lay on the sofa reading each page, word for word, front to back. When we returned home, she knew what was happening while we lived away. I laugh and say those newspapers were the Twitter of its time… at least for my mother.
When asked where I was from, it was an easy answer. Opelousas in St. Landry Parish is where I consider home, as it was the one geographic constant in my life. It is where my mother was from and where my grandparents lived. I was always happy to visit my grandparents and other family members in Opelousas. And Opelousas is where we lived while dad was stationed overseas.
Please stop and introduce yourself if you are around when and where we are. I would love to meet you.