Boeing Co. workers in North Charleston voted overwhelmingly to disband their union in a move that could give the region an edge in landing an aircraft plant the company is looking to build.

Of the 267 ballots cast, 199 were in favor of decertifying the election that made them members of the International Association of Machinists. The company was pleased; the union was disappointed.

The local plant makes rear fuselage sections for Boeing's 787, a new fast-selling lightweight jet that has been delayed by snags with suppliers and an eight-week strike last year by the IAM.

Boeing has said it would consider North Charleston and its manufacturing hub outside Seattle, among other sites, for a new 787 assembly plant. A decision is expected by the end of the year.

Extra credit

Home sales in the Charleston area were off in August, but future activity could surge on a push from first-time buyers who are looking to take advantage of a financial incentive that's set to expire.

Local home sales dropped 7 percent to 658 transactions compared with the same month last year, but pending sales swelled by 23.8 percent for the same time period, the largest gain for the region since 2005, the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors said. Low interest rates have helped, but much of that increase was attributed to the federal $8,000 tax credit for first time-time buyers. The subsidy expires Nov. 30.

Under review

The S.C. Supreme Court agreed to review the Coastal Conservation League's challenge to permits for the new container terminal planned for the Port of Charleston.

If the Supreme Court reverses a descision by the appeals court that the League filed its challenge too late, terminal construction on the former Navy base in North Charleston would halt until after the case is heard.

Medical expenses

If Trident Health System and Roper St. Francis Healthcare each get the go-ahead from a state court for their proposed 50-bed expansions in Berkeley County, the former says the economics might not work.

Trident CEO Todd Gallati said that he worries about obtaining financing for his company's proposed $115 million hospital in Moncks Corner if a second facility also is built near Carnes Crossroads.

Trident estimates that the two full-service medical centers would lose a combined $58 million in the first three years. Roper St. Francis said that both would operate profitably.

Growth vehicle

BMW, one of South Carolina's biggest economic-development coups and an important customer for the Port of Charleston, marked the 15-year anniversary of the first car rolling off its assembly line in Greer on Sept 8, 1994. The 5,000-worker Upstate plant also celebrated the completion of its 1.5 millionth vehicle: a 2009 Monaco Blue BMW X6 xDrive 35i with oyster interior features.