Press Association The Britannia Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for the Gunners, who have won just once in the Potteries in the Premier League era. Wenger’s men drew 3-3 at Liverpool on Wednesday, having led going into stoppage time only to concede a late Joe Allen equaliser. Arsene Wenger is expecting another stern test of his side’s Barclays Premier League title credentials when Arsenal travel to Stoke on Sunday. “We are still in the FA Cup so overall we are still in a position where we can make our season a fantastic season. The fact that we have players coming back from injuries will help. “I would say Stoke are also sharper because when we played them (at home, a 2-0 win for Arsenal on September 12) they were in a bit of a difficult patch and had some bad injuries. “Since then, they have developed well and have moved forward well in the league, with some convincing results. I’m convinced that both teams have moved forward since.” With Stoke having already beaten Manchester City and Manchester United and drawn with champions Chelsea at home so far this season, Wenger knows his players will have to match their level of performance from in midweek to break their Staffordshire hoodoo. “It’s a similar test to Liverpool,” he said. “On our side, we’ll need the same intensity again, four days later, and the same desire and focus. What we learn in this Premier League is that every week you think ‘look how many surprises we have seen today, that will not happen again’. “And the week after, it happens again and again and again, since the start of the season. That shows you that the consistency of your focus, the consistency of your determination will certainly play a big part in the outcome of this league.” Arsenal have been consistent in recent months despite nursing a chronic injury list, which is beginning to ease at the perfect time for Wenger. Alexis Sanchez has a chance of being involved at Stoke following his hamstring injury, while new recruit Mohamed Elneny could also make his debut. With Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta recently back and Danny Welbeck making a possible return in a fortnight, Wenger knows they could all play their part in the coming weeks. “At the moment we are at the beginning of January, we are in a strong position in the league and we have qualified in the Champions League.
AVONDALE, Ariz. — Deciding whether a competitor has spun deliberately to cause a caution is one of the most difficult judgment calls NASCAR has to make.Of course, if a competitor admits it to a national reporter, then NASCAR’s job is a lot easier. “Hopefully, they can know that the possibility of this happening is out there if it’s very blatant and don’t do it.”Richard Petty Motorsports, which fields Wallace’s cars, declined to appeal the penalties.Reid Spencer writes for the NASCAR Wire Service. That was the case with Bubba Wallace, who acknowledged to Dustin Long of NBCSports.com on Friday that he had spun on purpose last Sunday at Texas to try to make the best of a flat tire.MORE: Updated points standings after Texas playoff raceNASCAR reacted quickly, fining Wallace $50,000 and docking him 50 driver points on Saturday.”The reaction today was after a complete admission of guilt,” said NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller. “That’s really what led to the penalty happening today.”All we can do is wait and watch and see how we need to react next. Hopefully, we don’t. Hopefully, it cleans itself up.”In Miller’s view, NASCAR had no choice after the confession.”Here’s the deal: It’s not very straightforward to determine whether that is done on purpose. We’ve all watched the cars drive down the straightaway with a flat tire, weaving all over the place. For us to make a definitive call that a guy spun out on purpose when he can barely keep his car straight is a big call — and it’s a judgment call, and it’s a call we would like to not have to be able to make.
DES MOINES — The USDA recently approved the state’s plan for hemp production sand producers can now start applying for a hemp license. Robin Pruisner is overseeing the plan for the state ag department and says the USDA approved the plan pretty much as presented. “There were some minor changes — I would call it wording changes — and they wanted us to carry over a few sentences that were actually in the statute and they also wanted them in the rules,” Pruisner says. “So those were our biggest changes. I think for someone looking at hemp, they are not going to see any major here that impacts them as they move forward with their plans.” She says all the information to apply for a hemp license is online. “There will be an application form that can be downloaded from our website and they’ll need to fill that out. And then the key personnel and anybody with five percent or more legal or equitable interest will need to submit their official fingerprints to us — so that we can do the FBI background check that is required,” Pruisner explains. Governor Kim Reynolds signed the hemp bill into law around one year ago — and it has been touted as an alternative crop for Iowa farmers. Pruisner says a lot has changed in the time the rules have been developed since the bill was signed into law. “Nothing is ever simple I think this world, and there’s a lot of I don’t know if you call them urban myths or rural myths out there about the enormous amount of money that can be made growing hemp,” according to Pruisner. “And maybe that might have had a little tinge of truth to it a couple of years ago when not many people were growing it.” But she says you really need to review the market before moving forward. “I think anybody who is considering getting into this business needs to take a hard look at some of the price reports and stock reports that are available out there. My number one piece of advice is that no one should plant hemp unless you already have a contract to sell it — because of the oversupply that has reared up here in the last year,” Pruisner says. She says she had a lot of calls when the bill was first signed into law, and still gets calls from people interested in growing hemp. But, she isn’t sure how many people will be willing to jump into the hemp market. “It’s too early to tell. And for several months I’ve answered that question the exact same way. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be more than three licenses — but less than three thousand,” Pruisner says. Detailed instructions on how to apply for a hemp license are available at iowaagriculture.gov/hemp. This commercial hemp production program does not legalize the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for human consumption, extraction or processing in Iowa.