By PAUL J. WEBER and JAKE BLEIBERG

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A sprawling blast of winter weather across the U.S. is likely to blame for the deaths of two people in Texas, where an unusually snowy emergency Monday knocked out power for more than four million people, shut down grocery stores and air travel and closed schools ahead of frigid days still to come.,As nightfall threatened to plummet temperatures again into single digits, officials warned that homes still without power would likely not have heat until at least Tuesday, as frustration mounted and the state’s electric grid came under growing demand and criticism.,Massive power outages across Houston included a facility storing 8,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, leaving health officials scrambling to find takers at the same time authorities were pleading for people to stay home.,Temperatures nosedived into the single-digits as far south as San Antonio, and homes that had already been without electricity for hours had no certainty about when the lights and heat would come back on, as the state’s overwhelmed power grid began imposing blackouts that are typically only seen in 100-degree Fahrenheit (38-degree Celsius) summers.,State officials said surging demand, driven by people trying to keep their homes warm, and cold weather knocking some power stations offline had pushed Texas’ system beyond the limits. read more

Being No. 1 in the Associated Press poll is old hat for the UConn women’s basketball team.,UConn moved to the top spot in the AP poll released Monday following a 3-0 week that included an overtime victory over last week’s No. 1 South Carolina.,Juniors Christyn Williams and Olivia Nelson-Ododa have been part of two top-ranked teams with the Huskies, while sophomores Aubrey Griffin and Anna Makurat were also part of last year’s UConn club that spent three weeks at No. 1 a year ago before losing to Baylor at the XL Center in Hartford on Jan. 8, 2020.,They have been the top-ranked team at some point nine consecutive years and 22 of the last 27 seasons.,The Huskies improved to 22-3 in games featuring the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the AP poll with their win over South Carolina and followed up with victories over Seton Hall and Georgetown.

The American Red Cross says winter is always a hard time for donations, but with the coronavirus pandemic added to the mix, things get complicated.,LOUISVILLE, Ky. — January is National Blood Donor Awareness Month and the need for donations as 2021 begins is big.,The American Red Cross says winter is always a hard time to get people to give blood, but with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic added to the mix, things get even more complicated.,Everyone who donates blood during the month of January through the Red Cross will be entered to win two tickets and a travel package to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles in 2022.,To find a blood donation clinic near you and to learn more about the process, visit the American Red Cross or Kentucky Blood Center websites.